Mercury Computer Unveils VPA-200 VME Board with High-Bandwidth Options

9/13/2005 - Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) announced the industry's first VME host board to support dual PowerPC(R) 7448 processors and the RapidIO(R) fabric (VITA 41.2), or a PCI Express(TM) interconnect (VITA 41.4) on the VXS multi-gigabit P0 backplane fabric connector. Delivering tremendous configuration flexibility to system designers, the Momentum(TM) Series VPA-200 will combine host, signal processing, and I/O carrier functionality in a single slot. The VPA-200 provides a flexible, multi-function feature set for price-sensitive, entry-level military embedded applications, and paves the way for higher-end implementations that require high-speed backplane interconnects made available by the new VXS standard.

The VPA-200 is the newest member of the Mercury Momentum Series embedded products. The series comprises more than 20 modular, open-standard, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) board solutions for the VME, AdvancedTCA(R), and CompactPCI(R) platforms, as well as other mainstream board and mezzanine form factors targeted at military, communications, industrial, image processing, graphics, and storage merchant board markets.

"This board has extreme performance in three dimensions," said Harry White, vice president and general manager, Modular Products and Services,Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. "First, there is fabric bandwidth -- up to 5 Gbytes/s with the RapidIO option. Next is processing power -- up to 20 GFLOPS. In addition, the VPA-200 is configured with substantial I/O capability: two PMC sites, Gigabit Ethernet to the P0 pins, Gigabit Ethernet and RS-232 to the front panel, plus a 2eSST backplane connection. Calling it 'flexible' is more of an understatement."

Mercury's Modular Products and Services Group draws upon a diverse array of intellectual property that provides customers with unprecedented flexibility in customizing solutions for specific application requirements:

The Momentum Series VPA-200 will support dual Freescale PowerPC® 7448 processors at 1.267 GHz, delivering 10 GFLOPS each for floating-point operations. The high-speed backplane interface is based upon the Xilinx VirtexTM family FPGA, which can be configured with different IP cores to support either RapidIO for distributed computing applications that require true fabric functionality, or PCI Express for bridged I/O and processing clusters. VME 2eSST support running faster than 300 MB/sec will be provided by the Tundra TSi148TM VME bridge chip. Off-the-shelf PCI mezzanine cards may be configured on two PMC sites.

Each PowerPC 7448 processor will support up to 1 Gigabyte of DDR SDRAM running at 400 MHz. Software choices include off-the-shelf Linux and VxWorks operating systems, which will enable access to a wide ecosystem of stacks, middleware, libraries, and tools. The VPA-200 may also be integrated into VME64 RACE++ multicomputers using a Mercury EchotekTM Series RW++-PMC interface module.

Mercury co-sponsored VITA 41, the VME Switched Serial (VXS) standard in order to offer VME customers a pin-compatible VME road map upgrade, which can also take advantage of high-speed serial fabrics. Eric Yu, Mercury's Director of Hardware Development, edited the VITA 41.2 standard that provides the VXS base system with the necessary fabric extensions to support serial RapidIO.

Mercury co-developed RapidIO with Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola SPS), and subsequently co-founded the RapidIO Trade Association. RapidIO is deployed in a wide variety of military and industrial applications. Mercury introduced its first serial RapidIO system in the AdvancedTCA form factor more than a year ago.

The 6U Momentum Series VPA-200 will be integrated as a supported AAA host in Mercury's forthcoming VME VXS RapidIO multicomputer, which is designed to include radio frequency (RF), mixed signal, FPGA processing, an AltiVecTM compute node, and I/O solutions integrated together in a high-performance multicomputer optimized for military applications.

The Momentum Series VPA-200 is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of calendar 2005 for US $7,000 in OEM quantities. For more information on the VPA-200 and other Mercury embedded computing solutions, visit Booth #992 at Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEI) in London, England September 13-16. Visit for more information on available standard Momentum Series products, e-mail your requirements to, or call Mercury at (866) 627-6951.

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 solutions. Mercury's solutions 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, 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.

Echotek and Momentum are trademarks, and RACE++ is a registered trademark of Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.

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