New GE Single Board Computer Delivers 10x Performance Without Increasing Power

PPC9B is the ideal upgrade for low power, thermally-constrained applications that require more processing capabilities


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA June 22 2010 GE Intelligent Platforms today announced the PowerXtreme PPC9B rugged 6U VMEbus single board computer. Based on Freescale™’s QorIQ™ P2020 dual core processor and with 2 GBytes of DDR3 ECC memory, it is designed to provide a compelling upgrade path for PowerXtreme users by maintaining the power envelope of previous family members such as the PPC4A and PPC7A while delivering around 10 times the processing performance (depending on the application). More than 15,000 PowerXtreme single board computers are deployed in demanding military/aerospace applications – including ATFLIR, ACOT and EFA (the European Fighter Aircraft).   The performance/watt profile of the PPC9B will be equally attractive to new customers to whom it can deliver an advantage in environments such as unmanned vehicle control systems.
The PPC9B’s power dissipation of only 20-25 watts makes it ideal for rugged, deployed applications where minimal heat dispersion is essential such as sensor fusion and processing, tracking and targeting, weapon guidance and electronic support subsystems.  It demonstrates GE’s continuing commitment to its customers, bringing to market leading edge products that are form, fit and function compatible with earlier products and that maximize the value of their investment.
“The thermal constraints of legacy applications can be a real challenge, but the PPC9B stays as close as possible to the power/heat characteristics of its predecessors while delivering a compelling uplift in performance,” said Richard Kirk, Product Manager at GE Intelligent Platforms. “The combination of innovative GE technologies and Freescale’s P2020 dual core processor have enabled us to meet that challenge.”
The Freescale QorIQ P2020 achieves its ~10x performance increase (compared with the 7410 processor that was at the heart of the PPC4A) through its dual core architecture, its faster clock speed (1.2 GHz), its higher degree of silicon integration, faster memory interface and implementation of PCI Express® and RapidIO®. 
In addition, the PPC9B offers substantial configuration flexibility, allowing customers to create a solution precisely tailored to the requirements of the application. PMC and XMC sites are provided, as is an AFIX site. AFIX is GE’s proprietary Additional Flexible Interface Extension daughter card which allows system integrators to add features to a host card without using a PMC site, offering the possibility of reduced slot count and therefore lower cost, space and weight. AFIX cards can be custom-developed, or acquired as COTS products – the latter including single/dual channel dual redundant MIL-STD-1553, 8- or 16-bit SCSI with VGA graphics, and Flash memory.
Connectivity for the PPC9B is provided via dual Gigabit Ethernet, two UART ports, four fast serial COM ports, two USB ports, two SATA ports and 24 GPIO ports, with an additional Gigabit Ethernet, USB and UART port available via front I/O for air-cooled versions. Keyboard/mouse PS/2 ports are provided for legacy applications that require them: these can be substituted by two additional USB ports. 
Available in five rugged air- and conduction-cooled build levels for optimum cost-effectiveness, the PPC9B is fully supported by comprehensive Deployed Test Software (BIT and BCS) while operating system support for VxWorks®, LynxOS® and Linux® gives customers the choices they require.
About GE Intelligent Platforms
GE Intelligent Platforms is an experienced high-performance technology company and a global provider of software, hardware, services, and expertise in automation and embedded computing. We offer a unique foundation of agile and reliable technology providing customers a sustainable competitive advantage in the industries they serve, including energy, water, consumer packaged goods, government & defense, and telecommunications. GE Intelligent Platforms is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA. For more information, visit
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Ian McMurray, GE Intelligent Platforms
+44 (0) 1327 322821
Freescale and QorIQ are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. VxWorks is a registered trademark of Wind River Systems. Linux is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. LynxOS is a registered trademark of LynuxWorks. PCI Express is a registered trademark of PCI-SIG. RapidIO is a registered trademark of the RapidIO Trade Association. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.