Close this search box.
Aitech 40th Anniversary History

Four Decades of Innovating Rugged Computing Systems

It has been four decades since Aitech was founded in 1983, with the goal to provide the most innovative and reliable rugged embedded systems for defense and space programs across the globe and in every orbit. Over those years, through some significant industry shifts as well as market ups and downs, we’ve always looked to turn challenges into opportunities.

And why not? Because at our core, we’re engineers.

Aitech logos throughtout the years

From the dawn of VME to the first successful use of GPGPU in space, we’ve advanced our computing capabilities by not only investing heavily in our people and infrastructure, but by listening and observing how our industry has evolved.  Our goal — past, present to future — is to secure a better tomorrow.

Building a Path Forward

Aitech 1980s COTS Military Computer
Advertisement of Aitech’s first COTS Military computer from the 1980’s

Some of the most pivotal technological changes that have redefined embedded systems used in today’s military, aerospace and space markets humbly started at Aitech. During our early years, we were the first independent company to lead the development of true conduction-cooled military VMEbus products used in mainstream applications a full three years before anyone serving this emerging market.

The first true radiation-tolerant, 3U CompactPCI COTS embedded computing products deployed in Earth-orbit satellite and manned space vehicle applications came from our engineering team. In fact, there’s still more than 100 Aitech boards on the ISS in operation without failure for more than 30 years.

Exploring New Applications

As pioneers in the field of embedded technologies, we’ve developed commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products and capabilities to enable open architectures, like VMEbus, VPX, CompactPCI and high-speed serial fabric-based computers and subsystems, in military, aerospace and space applications.  

This has opened the doors for systems designs never before conceived. For military and defense applications, we now have compact, rugged supercomputing systems, some no larger than a credit card, processing quantities of data that systems 30 years ago couldn’t even store, let alone intake, compute and analyze. Tactics and decisions are driven by the insights provided by these computing-at-the-edge capabilities and autonomous and unmanned vehicles are enabling deeper insights and actions in threat awareness and situational analysis, while keeping military personnel safer.

In the realm of space, exploration has taken on new meanings. From reusable, reentry technology demonstrations and the development of a lunar gateway for long-term, in-orbit habitats to bringing communications and connectivity to remote regions of the globe and sampling asteroid composition to possibly trace the origins of earth, our technologies are helping expand what is conceivable.

Constant Technology Evolution

Tackling the seemingly impossible challenges of the defense and space industries, and the resulting breakthroughs and technological advancements, have shaped who we are today. We continually address the design challenges system engineers face by balancing the need for more computing performance and tighter system integration with the appropriate risk mitigation and reliable system operation requirements.

Our initial work in the mid-2010s with GPGPU technology for rugged embedded computing helped pave the way for implementing AI in the late 2010s and is a large factor in where the industry is today.

Aitech U-C8770 VPX
SOSA Aligned U-C8770 3U VPX SBC with AiSecure cybersecurity architecture

And when the momentum behind the DoD’s MOSA initiative kicked into high gear in 2019, we set a plan to strategically build out open standards-based technologies that customers would need for alignment with these new standards.  In 2018, Aitech was the first to develop a hardware-based cybersecurity architecture for single board computers (SBCs) that we then also delivered as a SOSA aligned version in 2020.

Innovations Towards the Future

Four decades of solving complex problems for military, aerospace and space applications has led us to break down barriers and redefine the expectations of what rugged embedded systems can achieve. The technologies of the future are evolving towards AI and ML capabilities, interconnectivity, cybersecurity and edge computing and we’re excited to be a part of it. From mission critical solutions for land and air to radiation tolerance for space, Aitech is at the forefront of the embedded technology revolution, ready to define future advancements.