Thunderbolt™ 4 is the fundamental connectivity architecture employed in GMS’s X9 SPIDER family of small form factor rugged modules and displays.
The X9 SPIDER products showcase the open distributed computing architecture (DCA) concept. Central to this implementation is Thunderbolt connectivity, which allows X9 SPIDER to tackle complex situations by rapidly, and easily, upscaling resources.
What is Thunderbolt™?
Thunderbolt is promoted by Intel® as the ultimate experience in universal connectivity. The Thunderbolt protocol supports fast data transfer, high-resolution video, and power delivery at the same time, with a single cable. Thunderbolt technology was created in 2010 by Intel®, in collaboration with Apple®. It was initially marketed under the code name Light Peak and first incorporated in the 2011 MacBook Pro with a mini DisplayPort™ connector.
Although Ethernet technology may seem straightforward to the average user, understanding the terminology is a little bit complicated. This article examines the Ethernet naming system, the available speeds, and the physical layer media on which Ethernet runs.
In a computer system, “hot-swap” refers to the ability of removing or adding components while the system remains powered, without needing to shut down or reboot the system. Components that support this feature are said to be “hot‑swap” or “hot-plug” compatible.
A well-known example of hot-swap capability is the ever-present Universal Serial Bus (USB). USB allows peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, printer, etc., to be easily inserted and removed without interrupting system power.
With all of the buzz surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, bitcoin, and machine vision, graphics cards and GPUs (graphics processing unit) are all the rage. Graphics cards and their GPU processors have gotten crazy-popular and crazier-expensive.
But what do they do, and how do they compare? Increasingly the military is interested in graphics cards and GPGPUs (general purpose graphics processing unit) for autonomous vehicles, “tip of the spear” processing (right in the weapon itself), for sensor fusion, to perform image enhancement, and more.
This document provides a brief introduction on RAID and RAID level 10 and provides information and guidance in setting up and testing a RAID 10 in a Linux® environment on GMS’ S2U server.
Intel RSTe software RAID utility had previously been evaluated in Windows and had uncovered some limitations due to the S2U server architecture. This is the companion effort, on the Linux platform, to evaluate the software RAID capabilities on the S2U server.
The testing was purposely limited to RAID level 10, composed of a full complement of 12 NVMe disks, with a CentOS Linux® operating system resident on the S2U server. The RAID was implemented in software, no hardware RAID controller was resident in the system, and relied on the native RAID features in the Linux® OS.
Although focused on a RAID 10 setup, the provided information can be used, with minor modifications, to accommodate other RAID levels.
SecureDNATM is the security suite included in GMS embedded products—from small form factor systems, to single-board computers and smart displays. SecureDNA™ is a GMS-developed, COTS-based approach to meeting the sanitization/zeroize requirements found in many programs when there is no specific guidance given (“flowed down”) from the program customer.
You’re probably very familiar with “USB”. Universal Serial Bus is the plug-and-play interface that allows you to plug in mice, keyboards, and a variety of other peripherals to your computer. All modern computers have at least one USB port. USB shines because of its fast data transfers – up to 40 Gbps with USB4®.
As USB evolved, so too did power delivery capability. Today, USB has become a ubiquitous power socket for many cell phones and other handheld devices. USB-PD, “Power Delivery”, is a fast-charge, industry-standard, open specification that provides high-speed charging with variable voltages using device negotiation to obtain up to 48 V at 5 A for a whopping 240 W of power!
As the USB and Thunderbolt standards evolve, let’s unravel key differences between the various standards.
The USB Type-C™ connector, aside from being reversible, is supported by many devices – gone are the days of fumbling with an assortment of USB cables with different connector types. A major advantage is that the Type-C connector goes beyond traditional USB by supporting a variety of protocols using “alternate modes”.
The Thunderbolt™ specification, currently at version 4, marries the obvious appeal of the Type-C “universal” connector with faster data transfer speeds, expanded audio/video capabilities, and intelligent power.
How do you re-enable the video output on a GMS system…when you’ve accidentally told the system to turn off the video?! As you can imagine, it is quite difficult to use a mouse to follow video screen prompts when there’s no operational screen. This happens more frequently than you’d think: an accidental BIOS setting by the customer shuts off the video, leaving the operator literally unable to see the screen…in order to re-enable the screen.
Fear not: there is a way to get into the BIOS to re-enable video to the monitor, even when the video is set to “off” in BIOS.
This document provides information on Coin Cell Batteries (also known as Button Cell Batteries) contained in GMS products or otherwise provided by GMS for use in its products.
Although the USB4 and Thunderbolt™ 4 ports have similar specs, Thunderbolt™ 4 ports provide for a more stringent, and better, set of minimum capabilities. Think of the Thunderbolt™ 4 interface as a more complete version of USB4 with a required superset of capabilities. Aside from USB4 having lower minimum specs, some features are optional and may be excluded by manufacturers.
In this article, we briefly examine what the Army’s Futures Command has published on future vehicle fleet, autonomy, and the evolving use cases. The article examines the type of sensors, control and telemetry needed between an autonomous vehicle and its “chase Mobile Ground Station,” and describes the capabilities of the MVD on MRAP vehiclesand how it directly applies to the battlefield of the future. Brief references to Next Generation Combat Vehicles will be made, although at time of writing, this program is evolving and far from settled.
With years of experience in implementing SSDs into rugged embedded computers and servers, General Micro Systems (GMS) regularly provides vendor-neutral technical guidance to developers whose systems require non-volatile embedded or removable drives. In this paper, we examine the differences in SSD options and highlight key criteria that should be considered when choosing an appropriate embedded, flash memory-based SSD device to meet application-specific requirements.
This Application Note offers an overview of several benchmarking tools that are available on the Linux® operating system. GMS uses some of these tools during development and testing on our small form factor (SFF), rack mount, and smart panel PC (“SmartView™”) systems.
Since its inception in 1979, General Micro Systems, Inc. (GMS) has been true to its mission statement: To Become the World’s Leading Technology Independent Supplier of Computing Engines, while Providing the Best Price/Performance, Quality and Customer Support, Demanded by Our Current and Our Future Customers.
All GMS products are proudly designed and manufactured in the U.S.A.
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