The Connected Battlefield Blog

Abaco Systems helps military and aerospace organizations minimize program risk and bring programs in on time and on budget. Our integrated, rugged systems solutions are based on a product range that includes single board computers, high performance embedded computing (HPEC), digital signal processing, GPGPU, image processing, sensor processing and avionics. We ally to those products our understanding of applications including ISR, EW, SIGINT, radar, sonar and 360 degree situational awareness. Our customers know that Abaco System brings industry-leading expertise and experience, together with broad and deep customer support.



In the Land of the Mounties…

Yesterday and today, we’ve been at CANSEC—Canada’s global defense and security trade show—which has been taking place in Ottawa. This year, we’ve been sharing booth space with our long term channel partner J-Squared Technologies. That’s been really helpful, as J-Squared are well known in this market, so it’s enabled us to help visitors make the link between the GE Intelligent Platforms embedded computing business that we once were, and the Abaco...



The Future of Computing

Quick question: What weighed 30 tons, was 100 feet long, consumed 150 KW of power and cost $500,000? Answer: The first actual digital computer. This was ENIAC. It was completed around 1946 and was in use for about 10 years. At its peak, it was capable of about 400 FLOPs (Floating Point Operations per Second). It used 18,000 vacuum tubes and had five million hand-soldered joints. It was not user-friendly, had no memory to store results and...


Electronic Board

We Can Make It for You

If you’re a regular visitor to our web site, you may have noticed an important change. We now have a whole section dedicated to Abaco Manufacturing Services (AMS). But just because it’s just appeared doesn’t mean that this is a new venture for us. You won’t be surprised to hear that, given the nature of our business and the markets/customers we serve, we’ve developed world class manufacturing capabilities—particularly when it comes to the...


Huntsville Sales Conference

Exciting Times in Huntsville

Here at the Westin Hotel, Huntsville, Alabama—close by our US headquarters—we’re into day two of the first ever Abaco Systems worldwide sales meeting. There’s over 100 of us here. If that seems like a large number of salespeople, Mark Wade, our VP of Global Sales, made the point that, in fact, if the job of sales is to serve and support our customers, then the whole organization is in sales—which means that about 600 of our salesforce aren’t...


Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit

Of Duct Tape, Drapes and Business Cards…

Duct tape, a vacuum, zip ties, business cards and drapes — necessary tools of the trade. If you’ve ever exhibited at a trade event, you can certainly appreciate the value in some basic tools to get the exhibit space together and ready for the event. Duct tape, zip ties and drapes camouflaged our FORCE2 and Modular Advanced Graphics Interface Computer ( MAGIC1 ) octopus of a cable harness. Lack of table top space for business cards revealed how...


Math Libraries

Math Libraries Matter

When designing a complex signal or image processing system, the choice of math libraries is probably pretty low on the list of priorities—but the wrong choice can lead you down a rocky road, either today when you can’t get the performance you need, or tomorrow when you need to do a technology insertion because of obsolescence issues. Often, the primary reason for using a math library is the desire to get maximum performance out of a specific...


Mentor Graphics Best Overall Design Award

Abaco Receives Mentor Graphics Award

Last week, the design team for the SBC347D single board computer received their award from Mentor Graphics ( originally announced here ) as the winner of “Best Overall Design” in Mentor’s 26th annual PCB Technology Leadership Awards. The award was presented to the team—Jim Rose, Zeshan Hussain, Eric Mills and Peter Woodruff—who are based at Abaco’s Towcester, England facility, at a celebratory dinner by Simon Vines, PCB Applications Group...


Munich FORCE2 Display Computer

Munich Feels the FORCE

This week, we’ve been at the Aviation Electronics Europe show at the MOC Event Centre Munich, Germany. A two day event with conferences, seminars and workshops as well as a central large exhibition, it’s the largest of its kind in Europe. The show includes almost every conceivable technology the aviation industry could need—which meant it was a natural opportunity for us to showcase our recently-announced FORCE2 Rugged Display and Mission...


Marine helicopter

Certifiable COTS

The commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) defense and aerospace embedded computing business presents many challenges. Rapid advancements in silicon eclipse the slow aerospace acquisition cycle for new computing capabilities. Adapting commercial silicon to very demanding operational environments present some risk. And bridging the chasm between the most safety critical applications and COTS computing hardware requires bold steps and/or a lot of money...


Abaco Systems booth GTC 2016

Leaving on a Jet Plane

It’s the last day for us at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) at the San Jose Convention Center. The trade show is over, the booth is in bits, and there are far too many boxes keeping me company in my hotel room. I’m off to UPS and FedEx in a few minutes and then there’s a seven hour drive back to San Diego with the demo equipment and monitors. Actually, knowing LA traffic on a Friday, that’s more likely to be a 12-hour drive, but we’ll...


GTC16 Day 3

Hooked on a Feeling

Here we are, Stuart Heptonstall, our product manager for graphics, and I, still at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) at the San Jose Convention Center. Last evening’s session went really well, and the two hours once again went by in a flash. Abaco is one of the few primarily mil/aero companies exhibiting at the show and we made sure to put some sufficiently tough looking systems at the corner of the booth to catch folks’ eye. There’s a...


GPU Technology Conference

California Dreamin'

It’s day two at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) at the San Jose Convention Center. There were no seismic event warnings this morning, which is surprising as I met someone at the NVIDIA networking event who was convinced that they basically cause earthquakes. As I’m someone who’s convinced that they make it rain whenever they visit Las Vegas, I could empathize. The hot topic today was the keynote address from Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA’s...


GPU Tech Conference

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Here we are at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference—or GTC—at the San Jose Convention Center. We’re registered and badged, the necessary booth folks are there, and everything works so it’s been a good day so far. We’re off to an NVIDIA networking event in an hour so that our new GPU product manager (and likely blogger later in the week) Stuart Heptonstall can meet with some key NVIDIA folks for the first time. Abaco has been working with NVIDIA...


MQ-9 Reaper

Ethernet Switches: Why Time Matters

It’s no coincidence that our blog is called The Connected Battlefield. Communications networks are at the heart of modern military operations. But there’s more to the name than that. At Abaco, networking—and especially rugged networking—is fundamental to what we do. What that means is that we spend a great deal of time understanding our customers’ problems—and helping solve them. Here’s a recent example. Ethernet technology now dominates...


F-16 Falcons

Designing for MIL-STD-1553

When a technology is architected to be robust, and has proven to be so in countless deployments over tens of years, it can be very easy to take it for granted. A prime example is MIL-STD-1553B. It just works, right? Well: yes and no. In theory, you buy the right parts, drop them on to a PCB, write some software — and you’re good to go. After all: the 1553 standard is designed to deal with a host of signal integrity issues — so why would you need...