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Chris Ciufo Joins GMS As New CTO

Rugged-server and small form-factors defense supplier GMS hires 32-year embedded-tech veteran to expand roadmap, launch 20+ new products, and implement strategic vision of founder and CEO Ben Sharfi.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA, March 2, 2016 – General Micro Systems, Inc. (GMS), the industry-leading expert in highest-density, compute-intensive, and rugged small form-factor embedded computing systems, servers, and switches for C4ISR defense, aerospace, medical, industrial, and energy exploration, announces the appointment of Chris A. Ciufo as chief technology officer (CTO). In this key role, Ciufo will be responsible for the GMS technology and product roadmap, and will work closely with company founder and CEO Ben Sharfi on strategic product planning and tactical product execution.

GMS Chief Technology Officer Chris Ciufo

Career snapshot:

  • Led the Level 100/Dy4 COTS initiative credited with evolving the industry from MIL-SPEC semiconductor components while at Dy4 Systems (now Curtiss-Wright).
  • Created industry mainstay publications Military Embedded Systems and Embedded Systems Engineering, encouraged inception of COTS Journal, and ran UBM’s Embedded Systems Conference (ESC).
  • Worked closely with U.S. DoD and foreign MoD organizations on ground-, air-, and shipboard-based programs and systems, and served as a frequent speaker on COTS at industry events.
  • Served in semiconductor, defense, VME, and systems industries in executive leadership positions where he was responsible for product management, marketing, business development, and manufacturing.

Ciufo is an embedded industry veteran who has been setting technology records since having graduated from the University of California with degrees in electrical engineering and materials science. From managing the industry’s first production megabit serial 4B/5B differential serial transceiver chipset (the Am7968/69) to helping usher in the era of up-rated COTS components when the entire semiconductor industry “no bid” MIL-SPECs, Ciufo has spearheaded leading-edge technology at the intersection of the semiconductor and defense industries.

With this extensive background, Ciufo is ideally suited for a role with GMS. The company has been breaking industry rules and records from its outset, from putting technology on VMEbus boards that pundits said “couldn’t be done,” to being the only company capable of running the fastest Intel® Xeon® server processors over a wide military temperature range (-40°C to +85°C) at full clock speed. GMS is known for super-dense boards, rugged systems, and servers/switches that outperform and outclass the competition.

Under the leadership of CEO and founder Ben Sharfi, GMS has originated a modular rugged-design approach that enables rapid product trajectory and has helped the company consistently outperform its peers. Included in this approach are plans for 20+ new products in 2016 that rely on the latest technologies from industry leaders such as Intel and outperform the competition in size, weight, power (SWaP), and performance density.

“I’ve known Chris Ciufo for over 20 years,” said CEO Ben Sharfi. “If there’s any person who shares my vision for GMS and my passion for the very best technologies, it’s definitely him. He has the perfect combination of skills and successes with technology, marketing, and business development. And he knows this industry and our customers.”

In his new role, Ciufo will be responsible for injecting the latest market trends and technologies into the expanding GMS embedded portfolio. GMS works closely with market-leading companies such as AMD, ARM, and Intel, and Ciufo has worked under contract with these organizations in the recent years. Of note, Ciufo enjoys “insider” status with many companies, and for them he has written and produced deeply technical, well-read insider articles, blogs, white papers, and videos, including ARM’s successful “IoT Designer” bi-monthly newsletter.

Ciufo’s background with military systems makes him an ideal fit with GMS’ focus on rugged VME, VPX, small form-factor, server, switch, and deployable smart-display systems in joint service programs including Army, Navy, and Air Force. Ciufo’s experience includes working with government program offices and prime contractors for M1A2 and M2A3 (Army), F14D (Navy), AAAV (USMC), B-2 (USAF), and more. With U.S. Army TACOM, for example, Ciufo conceived the “Teabag Strategy” while at Dy4 Systems that took a standard COTS VME architecture and re-used it on other vetronics programs—a completely unheard-of concept at the dawn of the COTS era.

Ciufo will lead the strategic technology direction of the company. He will divide his time between GMS’ Rancho Cucamonga, California, facility and the GMS systems-integration facility in Stuart, Florida, and will oversee collaboration among GMS’ engineering, manufacturing, and sales organizations. He also will help productize and drive new markets for additional variants of GMS’ successful RuggedView smart-display systems, which are designed into wheeled and tracked military vehicles and are equally applicable in oil/mining/gas exploration and transportation systems.