Mike Southworth, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions
The recent introduction of Intel's first Xeon System-on-a-Chip (SoC) device, the Xeon-D (codenamed "Broadwell DE"), dramatically changes the range of options for designers of high-performance small-form-factor (SFF) mission computers. Compared to earlier Core/Atom devices, the Xeon-D provides more cores and threads per central processing unit (CPU) - up to 16 cores/32 threads - and adds a significantly greater number of Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) lanes (32 PCIe lanes for Xeon-D, compared to 16 lanes for Core i7 or six lanes max for Atom). The Xeon-D also natively provides support for a large number of fast USB 3.0, USB 2.0, 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE), and serial interfaces. Most notably, a significant leap forward for designers of modern mission computers is Xeon-D's support for 10 GigE.