Mercury Scientific Algorithm Library Runs on PWRficient Processor

Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) announced that it has provided P.A. Semi, Inc. with its industry-leading Scientific Algorithm Library (SAL), which has been verified to run without modification and without errors on the recently announced PWRficient(TM) PA6T-1682M processor. The SAL binary, which included over 250 highly optimized scientific subroutines, including Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs), was built using a standard Linux distribution for the industry-standard PowerPC(R) instruction set with its native SIMD vector extensions also known as AltiVec(TM). The test suite included a comparison of results which checks the mathematical accuracy and validity of each completed algorithm routine.

In addition, Mercury also announced that it has been selected as one of P.A. Semi’s alpha customers. PA Semi is a fabless semiconductor company that develops world-class, power-efficient platform processors, including the PWRficient processor, for high-performance embedded computing markets. Mercury will be fully characterizing the 2.0 GHz Power Architecture(TM) dual-core PWRficient processor over the next several months.

“Mercury has worked closely with P.A. Semi over the past year, and we are impressed by their timely and successful execution on this leading-edge silicon solution,” said Steve Patterson, Vice President of Product Planning at Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. “The mathematically correct execution of Mercury’s SAL at 2.0 GHz is an amazing milestone, demonstrating the validity of the P.A. Semi implementation of the PowerPC architecture.”

For two decades, Mercury’s SAL has led the scientific computing industry in delivering the highest performance numerical algorithms for high-end DSP and image processing applications. SAL contains hundreds of functions required for demanding processing-intense applications such as radar imaging, image exploitation, signals intelligence, image reconstruction, baggage scanning, manufacturing inspection, and others. The SAL function categories include vector processing, matrix operations, FFTs, data conversion, signal processing, image analysis, linear algebra, and a wide variety of vector math operations, including vector reduction, vector-to-vector, vector-to-scalar, vector comparison, and multi-operator vector operations.

“P.A. Semi is pleased that our verification team is able to leverage the industry-recognized SAL library from Mercury Computer Systems as another application to demonstrate the compatibility of PA Semi’s Power Architecture implementation,” reported Peter Bannon, vice president of architecture and verification at P.A. Semi. “Running the Mercury SAL gives us a high degree of confidence that the PWRficient architecture will correctly execute highly optimized PowerPC instruction set machine code.”

As a leader in bringing new processors to the embedded computing market, Mercury subscribes to a heterogeneous processing philosophy that provides its diverse customer base with maximum flexibility in CPU adoption. The addition of the P.A. Semi PWRficient processor solidifies Mercury’s lead in the embedded computing industry in CPU support for Power Architecture-compatible processors, including the Cell Broadband Engine(TM) (BE) processor popularized by the consumer gaming market; the PowerPC 8641, 7447 & 7448, 970; and the PowerQUICC III processors. Additionally, Mercury invests in board-level products centered on other leading-edge CPU architectures that include X86, FPGA processing, GPUs, and C64 DSPs.

The PWRficient processor drives the Power Architecture ecosystem road map to dual, single and eventually quad-core device implementations. The dual-core PA6T-1682M operates at 2 GHz with only 13W typical (25W worst case) power dissipation. This feature set is extremely attractive to embedded customers, such as aerospace and defense radar and signals intelligence integrators, communications equipment OEMs, industrial image processing, and other system vendors who constantly evaluate the trade-off between power consumption and processing performance.

Mercury plans to support an array of CPUs based on Power Architecture technology, including the P.A. Semi dual-core and quad-core PWRficient processors, with Mercury’s open-standard multicomputer software platform architecture that builds upon the company’s historical leadership in real-time, distributed software development.

Mobile sensor applications require anywhere from a single processing element to hundreds in a compact, lightweight, and rugged enclosure integrated with RF and mixed-signal capabilities. Mercury offers unmatched expertise in integrating technologies that enable prime contractors and OEMs to transmit and receive analog sensor information which is filtered, transformed, stored, delivered, and visualized by digital processing subsystems.

More information: Mercury | P.A. Semi