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31 May 06. Radstone Embedded Computing became the first company to announce a range of rugged VPX boards based on the 3U form factor. The new family – comprising an Intel® Pentium®-based single board computer, a graphics accelerator platform and a Gigabit Ethernet switch – marks the first of what Radstone expects to be numerous VPX announcements in the coming months. The company also confirmed its intention to announce, later in the year, a family of rugged VPX boards based on the 6U form factor. 3U VPX is expected to find substantial acceptance among military and aerospace companies for a number of reasons. Small size and low weight are becoming increasingly important considerations in the platforms of the future, such as unmanned vehicles, with growth expected to be driven by programs such as FCS (Future Combat Systems); higher integration levels mean that performance is not compromised by the smaller form factor; and heat/power dissipation remains within today’s thermal performance envelope. Radstone’s initial VPX product offering includes a range of platforms. The SBC340 is based on the 65nm 2.0 GHz Core™ Duo T2500 (‘Yonah’) processor which is the successor to the Pentium M processor from Intel and is specifically designed for minimal power consumption: it features the 945GM Northbridge chip set, and takes full advantage of PCI Express’s 16x throughput. The GRA110 graphics board also features x16 PCIe, and supports dual channel video output. The GBX410 Gigabit Ethernet Switch is based on Radstone’s acclaimed CPX24, and features twelve Gigabit Ethernet channels and one 10 Gigabit Ethernet channel to the backplane. All three boards are expected to ship in the third quarter.

04 Jun 06. Seated at a conference table in San Diego, California, Vyomesh “VJ” Joshi can barely conceal his excitement as he picks up a computer mouse to demonstrate Hewlett-Packard’s latest piece of high-tech gadgetry. “This is the first time we’ve done a live interview with this thing,” says Mr Joshi, head of HP’s imaging and printing group, the $80bn computer company’s most profitable business. Although he is sitting 500 miles away, the images and sounds projecting from the screens embedded in the wall of the “Halo” room in HP’s Silicon Valley headquarters are so sharp and lifelike that Mr Joshi might as well be sitting across the table. Halo, HP’s new high-end video conferencing system, is one of a series of innovations that Mr Joshi’s engineers have brought to market this year as part of an ongoing attempt to transform HP’s imaging and printing group. Companies such as General Electric, PepsiCo, and BHP Billiton pay HP a hefty one-time installation fee and service charges to run Halo over a custom-built internet backbone. (Source: FT)

07 Jun 06. Esterel Technologies, provider of the worldwide market leading SCADE Suite model-based development environment dedicated to safety-critical embedded software, has announced the availability of its new SCADE Requirements Management Gateway, incorporating ‘proven-in-use’ and widely deployed TNI-Software Reqtify technology. The stringent and internationally accepted DO-178B process standard that governs the development of civilian avionics embedded software is primarily requirements driven. More generally, traceability is requested by the most demanding safety-critical process standards such as: DO178B, IEC 61508, EN50128. A Requirements Management (RM) tool is needed to respond safely and consistently to that problem, thus enabling links between artefacts, providing support for repetitive tasks, and finally giving to teams the ability to keep track of their designs. The announced SCADE RM Gateway allows designers to capture high-level requirements and link them to the SCADE model while designing. Main features include:
* Automatic coverage analysis,
* Automatic highlight of changed requirements,
* Upstream and dow

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