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.

WE INNOVATE. WE DELIVER. YOU SUCCEED.

Musings on the IEEE HPEC Conference

Maybe it’s a degree of cynicism that comes with age, but it frequently occurs to me that there is little that is truly new in our particular niche of the technology world. For example, there has been a lot of writing in the press over the past couple of years about this new-fangled “ HPEC ” stuff and how to define it. Even within GE, I have had discussions with people who are convinced that we invented something when we formed our HPEC Center Of...

More

Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something

In the first of an occasional series, Ian McMurray — who is PR Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms’ embedded computing business — reminisces about the good old days in sales… “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” You ever heard that? Don’t get me wrong – someone needs to make that something, and someone needs to ask for the money for that something – but without sales, jobs like manufacturing and accounting wouldn’t exist. That’s why...

More

The US Army: Doing More with Less

I recently attended the Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering & Technology Symposium & Advanced Planning Briefing for Industry (GVSETS; check it out here .) Wow, what a show. This was without a doubt the preeminent event of its kind for the U.S. Army. Three days jam-packed with speeches, presentations and panels. Panelists and presenters were from industry and the Army and were of the highest order. With a keynote by the Honorable Ms. Heidi...

More

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...

More

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...

More

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...

More

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...

More

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...

More

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...

More

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...

More

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...

More

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...

More

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...

More

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-...

More

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...

More