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Ruggedized Computers – Star Products at the National Defense Exhibition

Posted by: Yoyokuo 2023-09-08 Comments Off on Ruggedized Computers – Star Products at the National Defense Exhibition

Ruggedized Computers - Star Products at the National Defense Exhibition

On May 12, the 7th China International Defense Electronics Exhibition opened as scheduled, and hardened computers became a dazzling star in this exhibition. Words such as fully hardened computer, handheld hardened computer, information hardened computer, portable hardened computer, etc. can be seen everywhere. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce the exhibitors and ruggedized computer products in detail here, and sort out the development trend of this product.

The Classification Of Hardened Computers

In order to adapt to various harsh environments, computers that take corresponding guarantee measures for various factors that affect computer performance, such as system structure, electrical characteristics, and mechanical physical structure, are also called anti-harsh environment computers. Its characteristics are: strong environmental adaptability, high reliability and high maintainability; strong real-time processing capability; serialization, standardization and modularization; the development of special software is the key to its application.

The industry generally divides it into three types according to different application environments: military type, reinforced type and anti-information leakage type.

  • Military computer, also known as military specification or fully ruggedized computer. It is designed and manufactured in strict accordance with a series of military standards, starting from the computer system structure and meeting various anti-harsh environment requirements, and must be inspected and approved by a designated agency. The cost is much higher than that of general commercial computers. It can be applied to various harshest military field environments, and can be used in ground, vehicle, ship, airborne and space environments. The basic goal of the design is to meet certain military specifications and standards.
  • Ruggedized computer. In the 1970s, almost all of the anti-harsh environment computers used specially designed military computers, but with the increasing demand, more and more funds were used for such computers. Therefore, in the early 1980s, commercial computers appeared. Ruggedized computers, successfully used in various military fields. The cost is slightly more expensive than commercial machines, but much lower than military computers, the development cycle is short, and the hardware and software are compatible with the original commercial machines.
  • Anti-information leakage computers, computers that can control and suppress information leakage, also known as low-radiation intensity computers. Because the computer will generate electromagnetic radiation when it is working, it will bring two consequences. One is to interfere with other nearby equipment, and the other is to intercept and interpret the computer confidential information accompanying the emission, resulting in serious information loss. Therefore, the anti-information leakage computer arises at the historic moment. Many countries in the world have promulgated such computer standards.

Reinforcement Technology And Principle

The following different reinforcement techniques and principles are adopted under different environmental conditions.

  1. Harsh weather environment. Such as wind, rain, snow, ice, frost, fog, high temperature, low temperature, humidity, dry heat, sand dust, high and low pressure, salt spray, industrial atmosphere and smoke, etc., mainly adopt various thermal design technologies, metal protection technologies and isolation sealing technology, etc.
  2. Harsh mechanical environment, such as shock, vibration, drop, swing, vibration, stress and noise, etc., mainly adopt anti-vibration and anti-shock design technology.
  3. Harsh electromagnetic environment, such as strong magnetic field, strong electromagnetic pulse, lightning, static electricity and sparks, mainly adopts electromagnetic compatibility design and grounding technology.
  4. Harsh biological environment. Such as mold and insects, etc., mainly adopt effective coating and protection technologies.
  5. Anti-information leakage computer. Two methods are usually used, namely the containment method and the suppression source method. The containment method is to shield the computer as a whole, and use filters on the power line and signal line to suppress the computer from radiating and conducting emission information through space and related channels. The source suppression method is to fully consider the control of leaked information and prevent its radiation when designing circuits and printed circuit boards. The two methods have their own characteristics and are applied in different situations, and sometimes they are used in combination. The containment method is simple in design and low in cost, but the effect is not as good as the latter, especially the shielding material will age and fail over time, thereby reducing the shielding effect. The cost of source suppression method is higher, but the effect is good.
  6. Radiation environment. Anti-radiation reinforcement technology is mainly used. Firstly, understand the radiation environment and the damage mechanism of radiation effects; secondly, formulate failure criteria according to the radiation resistance index and the performance requirements required by the electronic system; finally, carry out reinforcement design according to a reasonable safety factor. From device production, circuit design to assembly into a computer system, every link can be reinforced, but component reinforcement is the basis of the entire reinforcement work.
  7. Harsh climate environment. In order to use the computer in a harsh climate environment, sometimes the need to run at a lower or higher temperature should also be considered. At this time, the reinforced computer must use a high-temperature motherboard. network card, graphics card, video capture card, etc.) to install a heat-dissipating aluminum plate to dissipate heat at high temperatures, or to install a heating film and a temperature control switch. Intensify the temperature inside the computer to a workable temperature.

The Development Trend Of Hardened Computer

After interviewing almost all the ruggedized computer suppliers participating in this exhibition, judging from the characteristics and technical information of many products exhibited, the ruggedized computer products and market began to show the following development trends.

Portable And Handheld

In this exhibition, almost all large military computer manufacturers have focused on displaying their handheld and portable ruggedized computer products.

The emergence of handheld and portable ruggedized computers has benefited from the progress and innovation of semiconductor components. Due to the improvement of integrated circuit technology, SoC chips with more functions and ultra-large-scale field programmable logic devices (CPLD, FPGA) have become the mainstream chips for designing and manufacturing military embedded computers. This greatly reduces the number of electronic components that military embedded computers need to use, so that the volume and weight of the computer can be greatly reduced. At the same time, the military high-density electronic assembly process is becoming mature, and the hybrid integrated circuit process has also begun to be applied in the development of military embedded computers, all of which enable military embedded computers to install more electronic components in a smaller space. So that the volume is smaller, the weight is lighter, and the function is more powerful.

At the same time of being small, because the main integrated circuit chip is transitioning to SoC, the chip integrates more and more functions, and the margin on the volume also enables a single computer to integrate more functional modules. Therefore, military embedded computers will inevitably It is also realizing the integration of system functions, adopting the distributed processing structure in the chassis to integrate more functional modules other than traditional computers, and realizing all navigation and guidance solutions including GPS and infrared guidance in one computer chassis. Calculate.

The CPCI Bus Will Become The Mainstream In The Future

Adopting the CPCI bus standard to promote new hardened computer products is another hot spot promoted by exhibitors. Enterprises including Inspur, Tianjin Inbeta, Aerospace 706 Institute, Jinan Tengyue, the Third Research Institute of State-owned No. 785 Factory, and Taiwan ADLINK all put CPCI-type products in a prominent position.

With the changes in the modern military environment, the requirements for computer products in information warfare are becoming more and more stringent. Products with traditional PCI bus structure can no longer meet the application requirements of high environmental adaptability and hot-swappable. The research and development have high stability, It is imperative for a computing platform with high reliability and hot-swappable bus structure to meet the application requirements of sheet metal military weaponry, command automation and other systems.

Therefore, in 1994, PICMG (PCI Computer Manufacturers Alliance) released a compact PCI bus – CompactPCI, a new open industrial computer standard, which is composed of three leading technologies:

One is the electrical characteristics of the PCI local bus. This makes the CPCI standard fully compatible with the traditional PCI system and supports exactly the same interface chips used on desktop PCs, so that the entire application developed on the desktop PC can be seamlessly moved to the hardened computer for ten applications;

The second is the structure and specifications of industrial-grade European card packaging. The CPCI standard adopts the highly reliable European standard card structure tested by 20 years of practice, vertical installation, front extraction structure, improved heat dissipation conditions, improved vibration resistance and easy maintenance, and meets electromagnetic compatibility requirements;

The third is the IEC2mm high-density pinhole connector. CPCI abandons the gold finger interconnection method of the PCI bus and uses a pinhole connector with a density of 2mm, which has the characteristics of reliable connection and complete airtightness. The vibration resistance and corrosion resistance of the board are greatly improved, and the load is increased. ability.

In the design of CPCI, the dense and strong package of VME and the excellent cooling effect of large equipment are combined with the chip of cheap PC and easy to adopt the latest processing power, which not only ensures the high reliability of 99,999%, but also greatly reduces hardware and software development costs.

According to reports, although the price of CPCI-type products is still much more expensive than other bus-type products, its excellent performance and low maintenance costs are gradually being accepted by the military.

Information Security Has Received Special Attention

In addition to the physical hardening of computers, special organizations such as the military currently attach great importance to the electrical information security of computers, and many manufacturers have also launched information security computer products in this area, which can be called information security hardened computers. And this kind of information security hardened computer realizes the security requirement of electromagnetic protection except various network interfaces and connection methods.

The series of anti-electromagnetic leakage products launched by the 706 Institute of the Second Research Institute of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation have adopted strict electromagnetic protection measures to suppress electromagnetic emissions to a minimum. To better meet the security needs of the military and special agencies.

Inspur Golden Shield series anti-information leakage computer is a national information security demonstration project and an information security product based on Ding EMPEST’s protection technology. In the field of electromagnetic protection technology, Inspur has formed mature source suppression technology and containment technology, passed the GGBB1 electromagnetic compatibility test of the State Security Bureau, and launched anti-information leakage computer products that have been widely used in state agencies and the military.

It is foreseeable that with the deepening of China’s military informatization, there will be a large demand for reinforced computers, and the reinforced computers will also be driven by the demand for continuous technological updates, thus leading China’s military computer field to the forefront of the world. .

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