The Connected Battlefield: looking back (part 2)


Last week, we looked at the subjects we covered here on The Connected Battlefield in the first half of the year. This week, as the year draws to a close, we look at what was hot over the past six months.

There can be few involved in military embedded computing who are not, as a minimum, intrigued by the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to bring remarkable new capabilities to the warfighter. July saw us discussing deep learning and its relationship with object detection. What’s making AI feasible as a deployable reality is GPU technology – notably, that from NVIDIA with whom we have a very close working relationship. At Abaco, we specialize in taking that technology and making it rugged enough to withstand the rigors of the battlefield in products like the GVC1000.

Not all of our posts are centered on our products, however. Many of them discuss more conceptual issues such as the principles behind new product development and design -  a topic we covered in July -  market and technology trends, how technology partnerships work, what COTS really means, cyber security, system reliability and so on.

An example is a post from August, in which we charted developments in processor technology- another 2-parter. The value in these posts was that they provided developers with useful information and, yes, a recurring word when it comes to The Connected Battlefield: insight.

Significant announcement

September saw us lifting the lid on one of the most significant announcements Abaco has made: our Lightning mission ready systems. As our blogger wrote at the time: “What we’re doing with Lightning is to provide our customers with all the functional advantages of an in-house developed system – but at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time. Customers can simply tell us exactly what they want, and we can show them exactly how we can deliver it - cost-effectively and quickly.”

Having announced the Lightning platform, it was no time at all before we launched the first two products to be based on it – the GVC2000 Rugged HPEC Display Computer and the MCS1000. The ‘big deal’ about Lightning is that, by using Abaco’s patented MMS technology, it gives customers access to literally hundreds of thousands of I/O combinations – often one of the biggest  challenges in getting a new system out of the door – off the shelf. I/O was a subject we returned to in October when we launched the FMC422 Camera Link FMC.

The same month saw us returning to the topic of AI – this time, in the context of autonomous vehicles. They’re a hot topic in the wider automotive world, and the developments taking place there can certainly be leveraged by the military – not least because the challenges of mission critical robust reliability are all but identical. A subsequent post revisited this, mentioning in passing Elon Musk’s thoughts on the opportunities and challenges presented by AI.

As the year draws to a close, we wanted to thank you for being a visitor to The Connected Battlefield. (And if you’re not yet a subscriber – see “Stay in the Loop” on the right hand side of the page.) Hopefully, you’ve found it informative and useful – and occasionally entertaining and amusing. 

We’ll be here in 2018: same time, same place. Happy New Year!


Ian McMurray's picture

Ian McMurray

Ian McMurray started his 40-year career in the technology industry back when 4K wasn’t the latest TV resolution — it was as much memory as you needed to write a complete, integrated accounting system for a computer. He started life as a mainframe salesman but eventually succumbed to the lure of marketing, and has since held a variety of European and worldwide marketing management positions, as well as occasional forays into sales training and development. He’s now the PR guy for Abaco Systems, and is based in Towcester, England.

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