Synergy's Rhino 10 SBC Targets Tanks with US Army's TOW Missile

11/6/2003 - Synergy Microsystems, Inc. (Synergy) announced that it has been selected to provide single-board computers (SBCs) for the Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) for the TOW missile. TOW is the military's acronym for the "Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided" anti-tank weapon system that has been a tactical mainstay of the US Army's light cavalry and anti-tank forces for more than 30 years. More than 650,000 "command -to-line-of-sight" TOW missiles have been produced for use with the US military, as well as for 37 other countries' armed forces.

Tests have shown that the recently developed ITAS significantly enhances TOW's target acquisition and fire-control capabilities used by light infantry forces. ITAS improves target detection, acquisition, recognition and engagement ranges; fires all versions of the TOW missile from both a ground launcher and the US Army's high-mobility, multipurpose wheeled vehicle (the HMMWV, or Humvee); and provides a growth path for future missiles.

The contract award is the most recent in a number of military design wins for the San Diego-based firm, which specializes in providing high-performance SBCs for use in both strategic and tactical real-time systems developed for the US military. For the ITAS program, Synergy's conduction-cooled "RHINO 10" SBC provided the combination of compute speed, ruggedization and low-power consumption that system designers required for the "first-to-fight" system.

Also key to the success of the contract was the ability to support a 5-second complete system boot-up. "Since this is a highly mobile weapons system, there is no redundant componentry and thus no back-up," noted Synergy CEO Thomas Powell. "If the system went down during operations, it was imperative that it be able to re-boot to full operation capability within seconds." Working with a highly optimized VxWorks operating system, Synergy was able to accelerate hardware response time with a fine-tuned board support package, successfully meeting the 5-second requirement.

Synergy was awarded the contract by Raytheon Company, which is the prime contractor for the ITAS program to the U.S Army.

Synergy to support next-generation target-acquisition systems
"Synergy has been successful in delivering high-value, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) boards that provide the heat- and shock-resistant ruggedization levels that combat operations may require," added Powell. "We're particularly pleased to be able to play a supporting role in the US Army's continued drive to develop longer-range, high-acuity optics and target-acquisition systems. These platforms enable our forces to stand-off and engage the enemy at distances that enhance the survivability of our military personnel. Synergy will continue to support our OEM customers in developing new generations of ruggedized systems to meet emerging requirements."

About Synergy
Synergy Microsystems, Inc. ( specializes in the design, manufacture and integration of single- and multi-processor, single-board computers for VME and CompactPCI systems to meet the needs of demanding real-time applications in military, aerospace, DSP, and industrial/commercial markets. Synergy has a long track record of extracting the highest possible performance from current and emerging SBC technologies, then supporting these technologies through extended product lifecycles. In business since 1985 under the original ownership, the corporation is privately held, with facilities in San Diego, CA. and Tucson, AZ.

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