Synergy Unveils Rhino DX Conduction-cooled SBC with 1.3-GHz PowerPC

11/24/2003 - Synergy Microsystems, Inc. (Synergy) announced a major upgrade to its Rhino DX, a dual-processor, conduction-cooled SBC for military applications. Rhino DX now complements the COTS industry’s fastest PowerPC microprocessor – Motorola’s 1.3-GHz 7457 – with a high-bandwidth serial interconnect to offer the most powerful combination of performance and throughput of any general-purpose SBC. The offering is an excellent candidate for insertion upgrades or new systems, across a range of airborne, terrestrial and naval platforms.

With the new 1.3 GHz CPUs, Rhino DX now delivers over 25 GFLOPS of peak processing power, complemented by a wide range of I/O options and StarGen's StarFabric switch-fabric interconnect. "It leverages the latest industry gains in processor performance, I/O density and interconnect flexibility, yet at a low price point that shows its M-COTS heritage," noted Synergy CEO Thomas Powell.

Powell said that more raw processing power fitting into fewer slots is a DoD mandate. "Recent combat has proven that ‘smarter’ systems achieve mission objectives while conserving lives and ordnance. Military designers want to upgrade platforms with additional data-processing and rapid-assessment capabilities – yet must do it within tight budgets and space constraints." With the Rhino DX, designers can fit two powerful processing cores into one slot, with both operating at unprecedented cycle speeds and offering board-to-board throughput that is roughly four to five times that of current VME, said Powell.

State-of-the-art CPU
The 7457 processor is Motorola’s latest offering in the acclaimed G4 family, providing higher performance without heightened power consumption. "In the past, performance gains also meant higher wattage drains and thermal profiles -- issues that designers needed to work around. With the 7457, developers don’t have to make compromises," said Powell.

High-speed Switch Fabric
Rhino DX is the only conduction-cooled 7457-CPU SBC with on-board StarFabric, the ultra-high–speed switching fabric that provides true 400 MB/sec, full duplex, board-to-board communications. StarFabric bridges extend the PCI bus to other processor boards within a VME chassis, so designers can easily add more horsepower – one, two or more boards at a time – to build multi-board systems that keep pace with incremental demand.

"VME's biggest drawback continues to be its limited bandwidth," noted Powell. "Current-generation VME offers a theoretical 80 MB/sec maximum transfer rate. StarFabric provides a 5X performance increase over current VME, at the same time offering extensive flexibility." By connecting the Rhino DX to a StarFabric switch device like Synergy’s PSTN PMC, users can create systems that surpass even future VME 320 performance. A single switch device offers up to three simultaneous conversations with an aggregate bandwidth of more than 1.2 GB/sec.

Strong Software Support
Synergy has one of the most experienced and talented software engineering teams in the industry. Their deep knowledge of real-time operating systems has resulted in robust board support packages (BSPs) for VxWorks/Tornado, Linux, SMP Linux and INTEGRITY. These BSPs have been fine-tuned to support fast boot-up, robust device driver optimization and ease of use. Synergy also provides STAR/ASTRix, a comprehensive firmware package comprised of system monitor and diagnostics including power-up and initiated Built-in Self-Test (BIST), as well as extensive configuration, memory management and networking tools. In addition, Synergy offers an extensible DSP Math Library to support intensive signal- and image-processing applications.

Advanced Ruggedization
The Rhino DX is protected by Synergy’s conduction-cooled frame, field-proven to withstand temperature extremes, high vibration and shocks in compliance with stringent military specifications. Rhino DX has passed the harshest environmental tests, executing code without errors while withstanding random vibration over 14 Gs, shocks up to 40 Gs, and temperatures ranging from -40 to +85 degrees C. The board’s heat frame provides both primary and secondary PMC thermal interfaces, ensuring proper cooling of SBCs and attached modules.

M-COTS ruggedization features include: extended temperature range of –40 degrees to +85 degrees Centigrade, conduction-cooling heat frame with wedge locks and conformal coating.

Air-cooled Version Also Available
The same high-performance features offered on the Rhino DX are also available in an air-cooled version, the Raptor DX. These new offerings continue Synergy’s record of ongoing performance improvements that keep pace with the military's requirement for ever-increasing processing power.

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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