Mercury Computer Rolls Out MCP3 FCN Rugged 3U CompactPCI Module

9/29/2004 - Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRCY) announced, at the Global Signal Processing Expo (GSPx), the MCP3 FCN module, which is the first of a new family of rugged 3U CompactPCI (cPCI) form factor signal processing products. Specially designed for size-, weight- and power-constrained applications, the MCP3 FCN is a multicomputer system module that integrates a PowerPC(R) 7447 processor, a Virtex-II Pro(R) field-programmable gate array (FPGA), and a PMC site.

Targeted initially at small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aircraft mounted pods and man-portable systems, the conduction-cooled MCP3 FCN is designed for deployment in harsh environments and to withstand high heat, humidity, shock, and vibration. Typical applications include C4ISR electronic warfare, signals intelligence, synthetic aperture radar, and electro- optic/infrared (EO/IR) challenges.

"A number of our defense electronics customers have a need for signal processing solutions that will fit into space-constrained platforms, such as the new, smaller UAVs. In spite of the restrictions on payload size and weight, they have increasingly challenging mission requirements and a broad range of sensors," said Richard Jaenicke, director of product management, Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. "The MCP3 FCN was designed to meet this need by delivering highly flexible signal processing capability in a space-efficient, 3U cPCI format."

By combining front-end FPGA computing with back-end PowerPC RISC processing in a single 3U module, the MCP3 FCN maximizes a combination of algorithm flexibility and delivered performance per Watt. The Virtex-II Pro P40 FPGA brings a large number of multipliers for top performance in front-end signal processing, while the 1 GHz PowerPC 7447 provides the RISC-based GFLOPS for the back-end signal processing.

The MCP3 FCN's flexibility extends to multiple I/O options. There is a direct connection to the FPGA, using the J2 pins of the cPCI connector, enabling high-speed digital intermediate frequency (IF) I/O. In addition, industry-standard PMCs can be attached directly to the MCP3 FCN, such as the dual-channel digital receiver PMC configured with early test systems. A PCI bus connection is available via the J1 pins of the cPCI connector.

Software engineers using the MCP3 FCN will be supported by a robust set of mature, proven development tools addressing both of the different processing units. To develop application components targeted for the PowerPC processor, engineers will have access to the Mercury Scientific Algorithm Library (SAL), the PixL(TM) image processing library, and the Parallel Application System (PAS(TM)) library, as well as VxWorks(R) system kernel and the Tornado(R) tool set from Wind River Systems.

For those parts of the application which will run on the FPGA, developers can use Mercury's FPGA Developer's Kit (FDK), which comprises a collection of Mercury-developed IP, build files, command line tools, libraries, headers, drivers, board descriptors, diagnostics, and consulting support, all focused on helping engineers efficiently create reliable applications. The FDK is currently used for application development targeting the VantageRT(R) FCN and MCJ6 FCN products.

The MCP3 FCN module was selected for the 2004 GSPx First-Look New Product Forum, which will showcase new hardware and software products in the embedded processing arena. Awards will be presented at GSPx today.

Mercury expects to begin customer shipments in January 2005. Visit Mercury's web site at at for more information about the MCP3 FCN. A high-resolution photograph can be downloaded from Mercury's Image Library at

About Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRCY) is the leading provider of high-performance embedded, real-time digital signal and image processing computer systems. Mercury's products play a critical role in a wide range of applications, transforming sensor data to information for analysis and interpretation. In military reconnaissance and surveillance platforms the Company's systems process real-time radar, sonar, and signals intelligence data. Mercury's systems are also used in state-of-the-art medical diagnostic imaging devices including MRI, CT, PET, and digital X-ray, and in semiconductor imaging applications including photomask generation and wafer inspection. Mercury provides advanced 3D image processing and visualization software and optimized systems to diverse end markets including life sciences, geosciences, and simulation. The Company also develops radio frequency (RF) products for enhanced communications capabilities in military and commercial applications.

Based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Mercury serves customers in North America, Europe and Asia through its direct sales force and a network of subsidiaries and distributors. Visit Mercury on the web at

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