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Monday, October 09, 2017

HPC moves into embedded with rugged server designs

By Nick Flaherty at

The Crystal Group is launching a new range of high end rugged liquid-cooled servers for embedded applications.

The Fully Optimized Rugged Computer Equipment (FORCE) combine the latest Intel Xeon Scalable Processors with high-speed networking, enhanced I/O, platform security, and thermal management in a modular, customisable high-performance computing (HPC) system.

Those with long memories may remember Force Computers, bought by Motorola in 2004 from Solectron and then becoming part of Emerson Network Power, now owned by a venture capital firm and renamed Vertiv. 

Crystal's FORCE rugged servers have single or dual Intel Xeon Scalable Processors (Purley/Skylake), each supporting up to 24 cores and 48 PCIe lanes. The Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) ultra-wide vector processing simplifies repetitive tasks. The Platform Controller Hub (PCH) offers 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) ports for high-speed communication, up to 14 SATA 3 ports for expanded storage capacity, and QuickAssist Technology (QAT) for enhanced security, authentication, and compression.

The RS1104, RS2608, and RS3712 Rugged Servers are available now. The newly designed, lightweight chassis come in 1U, 2U, and 3U sizes with 19-, 22-, and 25-inch depths, with a choice of ATX or eATX motherboard, and air- or liquid-cooled thermal management. Front-end configuration options include serial and USB ports, 2.5-inch drives, CMOS battery, pump assembly for liquid cooling, circuit breaker, card reader, USB sound card, sanitize button for security, DVD, and LCD. 

"The Crystal Group FORCE RS1104L22 can dissipate an unprecedented 280 watts of CPU power with its state of the art liquid cooling. It is the world's first and only Xeon Skylake powered server capable of such a feat," said Jim Shaw, Crystal Group Executive Vice President of Engineering.

"The FORCE line comes in direct response to customer requests for faster processing speeds and greater storage capacities in a rugged enclosure with advanced thermal management – optimized for size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C)," said Shaw. "We continue to expand the Crystal Group portfolio of trusted rugged solutions to provide precisely what's needed on today's multi-domain battlefield: robust, rugged, and reliable systems capable of withstanding harsh environments and tackling complex, compute-intensive applications, such as sensor fusion, machine learning and artificial intelligence, autonomy, electronic warfare, and so much more."
Crystal Group is demonstrating 1U, 2U, and 3U air- and liquid-cooled configurations of the RS1104, RS2608, and RS3712 in the US this week. 

The servers meet or exceed IEEE, IEC, and military standards (MIL-STD-810, 167-1, 461, MIL-S-901) and are backed by warranty (5+ year) with in-house support.

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