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.

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In the Eye of the Beholder

I recently put my car up for sale. It is a beautiful thing. I bought it new and I’ve babied it; I’ve cared for it and I’ve loved it. In time though, I decided it had to go; I needed a more efficient car. I started asking around for buyers (I didn’t want this thing of beauty to go to just anyone; I wanted someone to love it—like I did). At the price I was asking, I got almost no interest. I was shocked. I mean, the car is perfect—like new! Why...

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ARM Flexes Its Muscles: 5 Things You May Not Know About ARM

An interesting recent trend in the embedded computing space is the emergence of ARM processors as an option. In a space dominated at various times by Power Architecture and x86, this is a welcome additional choice, particularly for low-power applications. 1. ARM is not like other processors ARM is quite different to most other processors in that it is an instruction set and architecture definition that is defined by ARM Holdings, a company that...

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Why Embedded Computing Is Like Rice Krispies

The famous writer Arthur C. Clarke (2001: a Space Odyssey, many others) coined the phrase “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” (This is part of his “three laws”: it’s interesting - look it up). We have all seen ‘magic’; it’s the ‘the next big thing’. When it arrives on the market (the iPad comes to mind) consumers are crazy for it. So thoroughly intrigued are they that they run out and buy these things without...

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How Inclusion Can Drive Success

A few years ago, I thought I had reached somewhat of a conclusion about humanity’s prime motivation – which is the leaping over of boundaries. Like the much heralded book Passages by Gail Sheehy published in 1976, I had the notion that we live in compartments at different stages in our life and at some point feel the need to break out of those compartments and progress to a wider domain. The sequence goes something like: womb, crib, room, house...

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Making The Rounds: Part 1 — GE's HPEC CoE

I recently took over the reins as the GE Intelligent Platforms marketing leader for Embedded - Military/Aerospace computing and beyond. I’m excited about this because I get to broaden my focus beyond military networking and communications. I'm now involved in telling the story for all our embedded products, services, customers and markets. This is going to be a lot of fun! I’ve begun making the rounds, spending time with all our product managers...

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How Empires Strike Back

Boy, have we seen some changes recently. Cultural changes, economic changes, climate changes. The fact is this: Change is everywhere. There have been some recent changes here at GE Intelligent Platforms, too. Personally, I don’t like change. It’s hard to deal with, it puts me off-balance and it makes me question what I’ve come to know as “true.” Change also makes me skeptical. I find myself asking, “Is this new change durable? What if it’s a...

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What Is The Best Network Architecture For Today's Modern Military?

Quiz: What communications/network architecture is the best for today's modern military? (answer at the bottom of this post) Recently, I watched a movie on the plane on my way home from California. I usually don't do this, but it was a brand-new American Airlines jet with a tablet-based in-seat entertainment system and I had to try it out. The movie was Lone Survivor . I had read the book, and the movie was basically an abridged version with...

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A Look into CANSEC 2014

May 28 and 29 saw GE Intelligent Platforms exhibiting at CANSEC, Canada’s premier defense trade show. The event is run by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), and attracted over 10,000 registrants and 331 exhibitors. Yes, 10,000. Now, I can’t say for sure that so many actually turned up, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Both days saw a constant flow of traffic—speaking of which, it took me an hour to drive the last...

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The Market of Constant Disruption

It’s a tough place to be, the COTS ( Commercial Off-The-Shelf ) embedded computing space - particularly when serving defense and aerospace customers. Being between the commercial silicon providers and demanding customers presents a number of challenges. It is two moving targets – and it forces us to be disrupters in our own market. Commercial silicon providers move and innovate at the speed of the commercial enterprise and the consumer. Products...

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So: This “Business Development”…?

We’re delighted to welcome a new blogger to the team. Larry Schaffer is a Business Development Manager, focusing on ground-based applications in the military – and he’s feeling misunderstood. A business development guy walks into a bar. The bartender asks: “Why the long face?” The guy sighs and says: “I’m a business development guy and people don’t understand what I do.” The bartender (now thinking he’s got a good customer on the hook) says: “OK...

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Mixed-Architecture Signal Processing Application Demo

When it comes to quickly evaluating system performance, demonstration applications offer a great deal of flexibility—but you have to build them first. In a recent video demonstration, David Tetley presented how to use GE AXIS software and tools to develop a signal processing application that uses both CPUs and GPUs in a system. The AXIS suite of multiprocessing productivity software offers robust libraries for signal processing and inter-...

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4 Things That Stood Out at GTC 2014

GE Intelligent Platforms attended and exhibited again at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose, Calif., March 24–27. This was our fourth straight year attending, and there were four reasons it stood out as a particularly memorable event. NVIDIA announced the Tegra K1, their latest mobile processor. It features a Kepler GPU with 192 CUDA cores, and a quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor. There is also hardware support for video...

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Taking Ownership and Getting Things Done

I wrote this piece about GE Intelligent Platforms' ongoing push for a major culture change and first posted it internally. The team thought our blog readers would like to see it as well. So here it is, with a brief preamble to provide some context. I started out in a small company—a very small, four-man company (where I was the fourth man). We built equipment to enable Internet connectivity, just before the Internet really started to take off...

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I Am Not a Guru

I am writing this as a sort of protest post. I'm airing some dirty laundry here, but so be it. The truth is this: I hate the fact that the link on our homepage—the one that brings you here to our blog—refers to us blog writers as "gurus." I just don't like that word. I've sent notes to the powers that be (the people who send me the monthly "you are late with your blog post" email) and tried to explain that I think the word is overused and...

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Protect This House

If you live in the world of mil-aero systems, you have most likely heard the terms “anti-tamper” (AT) and “information assurance” (IA). You may even know and understand what they mean—but have you figured out what this all means to a COTS product vendor ? Why do we need AT and IA technologies? Widely reported events such as the 2001 EP-3E signals reconnaissance plane emergency landing on Hainan Island and the 2011 Iranian capture of an RQ-170...

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