Gigabit Ethernet fit for a tank

The Ethernet upgrade is part of a long-term Army plan to bolster the tank's electronics systems to greatly improve digital command and control capabilities

Ethernet continues to go places its inventors probably never imagined. This week GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms got a US$645,000 contract to supply a custom version of its Gigabit Ethernet switch to rumble around inside the US Army's Abrams tank.

Specifically, GE Fanuc said it would supply a custom version of its IPv6 capable fully managed Layer 2/3 Gigabit Ethernet switch which features non-blocking shared memory, a 44 Gbps core and delivers full-wire speed performance with minimal latency to all ports simultaneously and is available in both air- and conduction-cooled formats, the company stated. The company will also provide its dual 10 GB Optical port XMCXGO XMC card for the switch.

Evolution of Ethernet

The Ethernet upgrade is part of a long-term Army plan to bolster the tank's electronics systems to greatly improve digital command and control capabilities. The upgrades include faster networked communications, high-density computer memory and increased microprocessing speed, as well as the ability to upgrade the overall system more easily. More than 8,800 Abrams main battle tanks have been produced for the US Army and other armies around the world since 1978.

The deal is also only a small part of millions of dollars in related technology contracts GE Fanuc has with the Army.

The Army isn't the only branch of the military to take advantage of Ethernet's flexibility. The US Navy recently signed Boeing to a five-year, $42.9 million to upgrade and support the Gigabit Ethernet networks it is building on its guided missile destroyers.

The Navy's Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System (GEDMS) upgrades the current 100Mbps fiber-based backbone network to a 1Gbs redundant Ethernet mesh, bringing enhanced multimedia capability to the ships, the Navy said. The GEDMS is the heart and soul of the guided missile ships and basically handles ship-wide data transfers and supports navigation, combat, alarm and indicating, and damage control systems. It also is the underlying communications mechanism for the Aegis missile system which uses a system of radars to track and destroy targets.

And the Ethernet odyssey went into space earlier this year when NASA signed an agreement with a German Ethernet vendor to build highly fault-tolerant networks for space-based applications. TTTech builds a set of time-triggered services called TTEthernet that is implemented on top of standard IEEE802.3 Ethernet. Its technology is designed to enable design of synchronous, highly dependable embedded computing and networking, capable of tolerating multiple faults, the company said.

In addition, NASA and TTTech will collaborate on space network standards that will lead to an open space Ethernet standard suitable for deployment in upcoming space networks in NASA programs and space systems.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags gigabit ethernet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Cooney

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?