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Mil-spec computer resists heat, runs Linux

Dec 13, 2007 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Quantum3D has announced a rugged, battery-operable computer aimed at video-intensive military applications. The Thermite TVC 3.0 runs Linux, according to the company, and features Core 2 Solo or Duo processors and a variety of video capture and graphics options.

(Click here for a larger view of the Thermite TVC 3.0)

The TVC 3.0 comes in a sealed alloy enclosure and includes a choice of hard disk drives, including a shock-resistant, extended-temperature 80GB unit, or solid state disks (SSDs) ranging from 16GB to 64GB. Operating temperatures range from 0 to 72 deg. C (32 to 161 deg. F) with a hard disk drive, or -40 to 85 deg. C (-40 to 185 deg. F) with an SSD and “conformal coating” applied, according to the company.

Quantum 3D says the TVC 3.0 uses Intel's 956GME “Santa Rosa” chipset, teamed with the ICH8-M southbridge. It is available with Core 2 Solo or Core 2 Duo processors, in LV or ULV versions ranging from 1GHz to 1.6GHz. Memory ranges from 1GB to 4GB of DDR2 dual-channel DRAM, the company says.

Given that graphics are the Thermite's stated mission, the device includes an 8-lane PCI Express interface that allows adding up to four video capture ports. As for graphics output, the unit is available with either discrete or embedded circuitry: The top model, the Thermite TVC 3.0 Model 1000, includes NVIDIA's G73GL GPU with 256MB of dedicated DDR2 DRAM.

According to Quantum 3D, the device also includes both DVI and S-Video outputs. A CANbus interface is optional, while general-purpose PC I/O includes “multiple” USB ports, four serial ports, and a Gigabit Ethernet interface.

Features and specifications cited by Quantum 3D include:

  • Processor — Core 2 Solo or Core 2 Duo, in LV or ULV versions ranging from 1GHz to 1.6GHz
  • Memory — From 1GB to 4GB of DDR2 dual-channel DRAM
  • Storage — hard disk drives up to 80GB, solid-state disks (SSDs) up to 64GB
  • Display:
    • Intel integrated graphics, or discrete NVIDIA or ATI GPU modules
    • TVC 3.0 Model 1000 — NVIDIA G73GL mobile GPU with 256 MBDDR2 DRAM, analog/DVI video output, and composite/S-Video output
  • Networking:

    • 1 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet
    • 802.11a/b/g/n (optional)
    • Bluetooth (optional)
    • Zigbee (optional)

  • Other I/O:
    • “multiple” USB ports

    • 2 x RS232, 1 x RS422 async, 1 x RS422 synchronous
    • stereo audio input and output
    • IEEE 1394

  • Expansion:
    • CANbus (optional)
    • 8-lane PCI Express

  • Input power:

    • 9 to 36VDC (per MIL-STD-704F, STANAG 1008, and MIL-STD-1275)
    • Compatible with US Government BA5990 standard issue and BA2590 rechargable batteries
    • Dimensions — 9.1 x 6.3 x 3.2 inches (233 x 160 x 81.5 mm)
    • Operating temperatures:
      • 0 to 72 deg. C (32 to 161 deg. F) with a hard disk drive
      • -40 to 85 deg. C (-40 to 185 deg. F) with SSD


Pricing and availability for the Thermite TVC 3.0 were not stated, but the device appears to be available now. Operating system options are said to be Linux, Windows XP Embedded, and Red Hat Fedora.

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