Mercury Computer Systems Reveals Road Map for Next-Generation VME

1/19/2005 - Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) announced its next-generation VME product road map that includes both VITA 41 (VXS) systems and VITA 46 (VPX) systems with the VITA 48 (ERDI) thermal management enhancements. Both systems will utilize standard XMC switch-fabric mezzanine cards.

"As the leader in VME modules and systems for military and aerospace applications, Mercury is investing in multiple VITA specifications to enable our customers to use the right tool for the right job," said Richard Jaenicke, director of product management at Mercury Computer Systems. "The mil-aero market has divergent requirements, and the choice of different connector sets puts more tools in the VME solutions toolbox."

VITA 41 provides fabric connections with mechanical backward compatibility, in the same basic chassis infrastructure as VME64. VITA 46 provides dozens of high-speed serial links, with enough combined bandwidth to make distributed switching viable for high-performance applications. VITA 48 is critical for providing the thermal management to take full advantage of the next generation of hot processors, many with dual cores.

VITA 41 provides an easy path to get a high-speed serial switch fabric interface to the backplane in a VME system. By replacing the existing optional P0 connector with a new connector capable of multi-gigaHertz signaling, VITA 41 VXS boards bring a pair of 10 Gbps links available to connect to new switch card slots. VITA 41 is a straightforward upgrade for applications in which the existing thermal management techniques are sufficient and can afford to dedicate one or two slots for fabric switches. VITA 41 VXS systems are especially well suited to high-performance applications in moderately benign environments, such as manned wide-body aircraft.

Replacing all the existing connectors with new multi-gigaHertz connectors, VITA 46 provides the maximum communications density and performance. VITA 48 provides the mechanical standard such that a single printed circuit board allows for air-, conduction-, spray-, and liquid- cooled solutions. VITA 46 is most useful when paired with VITA 48 to provide increased thermal management that allows the denser solutions of hotter processors and interconnect chips. VITA 46/48 offers considerably more general-purpose I/O to the backplane, and meets the electrostatic discharge protection requirements for two-level maintenance on deployed programs. VITA 46/48 also addresses the 3U market for capable, smaller systems. The increased thermal management capability and two- level maintenance make VITA 46/48 systems well suited for the harshest military environments, such as tactical and unmanned platforms.

"The military processing subsystem market has reached a level of diversity for land, sea, and air-mobile platforms such that a single board and chassis standard cannot address them all," said Jay Korman of DFI International, a Washington DC-based defense and high technology consulting firm. "There are current and near-future platforms that can continue to evolve with VITA 41 VXS to address enemy threat developments, and it would be cost-prohibitive for them to move to the new VITA 46/48 infrastructure. On the other hand, VITA 46/48 offers capability to those programs that demand new features to meet more complex mission requirements. Mercury's approach reflects that market demand and solution space."

The next-generation VITA-based systems will begin initial shipments in the second half of 2005. Contact Mercury for more information.

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 provides 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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