GE launches FACEREF1 rugged platform for Future Airborne Capability Environment developers


HUNTSVILLE, Ala., 31 July 2012. GE Intelligent Platforms (NYSE:GE) unveiled the FACEREF1 Software Reference Platform at the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium meeting (PEO Aviation in Huntsville, Ala.). FACEREF1 enables organizations developing FACE-compliant applications to take advantage of a pre-configured, pre-validated, and pre-tested commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution, and thereby reduce risk, cost, and time-to-market.

GE’s FACEREF1 Software Reference Platform is a complete, rugged subsystem that features GE’s SBC312 single-board computer and PMCCG1 graphics PMC. The SBC312 is based on Freescale’s Power Architecture P4080 8-core processor, while the PMCCG1 features the high-performance/low-power S3 2300E GPU (graphics processing unit). The interface between the CPU and GPU is via a 4-lane PCI Express to PCI-X bridge, allowing high-bandwidth connectivity between the two processors.

GE’s FACEREF1 provides a platform for customers to try COTS software, develop application code, and demonstrate capabilities on a rugged platform capable of being deployed on real airborne platforms, says a spokesperson. GE is working closely with Wind River Systems and Presagis to ensure that the two companies’ software roadmaps for FACE-compliant operating system, OpenGL, and HMI tools work “out of the box” on the FACEREF1 hardware platform.

“A key objective of the FACE initiative is to create an environment in which advanced, yet proven, computing technologies can be deployed to the warfighter faster and at lower cost,” says Rod Rice, general manager of Military & Aerospace Products at GE Intelligent Platforms. “The FACEREF1 platform allows these objectives to be met by taking advantage of an off-the-shelf, high performance solution that features a high Technology Reference Level (TRL), that is ready to run, and that eliminates the time, risk, and cost that would be incurred by developers creating a solution in-house.”

The Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium, an Open Group Managed Consortium, is creating an open FACE reference architecture, standards, and business model that will ensure interoperability, increase portability, promote innovation and competition, bring advanced capabilities to the warfighter faster, and lower implementation costs, says a representative.

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