ZMicro ZX1C-18 Server Selected for AFSOC Airborne ISR Platform

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — ZMicro announced it has secured a multi-million-dollar program win to provide its ZX1C-18 rackmount servers for airborne ISR mission computing on a U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) platform. The ZX1C-18 was selected for its heightened environmental and reliability capabilities and industry-leading compute performance in a SWAP-optimized package.

The AFSOC platform is a small, manned fixed-wing plane that provides on-call and surge capability for tactical airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. It is a cost-effective tool to hunt targets or provide the ISR needed for friendlies below and is an increasingly important component of counter-terrorism operations.

The ZX1C-18 features the Intel 3rd generation Xeon scalable processors. It provides nearly 50% performance improvement and more than double the memory capacity of the previous generation in a 1U form factor. By upgrading to the ZX1C-18, AFSOC could reduce server weight by 50% and gain 3U in the available rack space. Additionally, the smaller size allows easier integration and convenient maintenance when users need to disconnect cables from the I/O in the rear of the server.

“ZMicro coordinated with the prime contractor and end-user for more than a year to tailor a solution that met next-generation compute requirements,” said Jason Wade, President of ZMicro. “For example, reliability is always a concern for airborne and military applications. But AFSOC had heightened requirements, so we performed extensive environmental testing and more extreme high and low temperature and shock and vibration. This enabled us to provide comprehensive environmental test data that demonstrated the superior reliability of the ZX1C-18.”

In addition to its excellent reliability profile, the ZX1C-18 addresses an often-overlooked customer pain point— CMOS battery failure—with an innovative design. The CMOS battery is responsible for preserving system configuration settings when the computer is cut off from external power. When the battery fails, at best, this will cause mission delays and frustration; at worst, it can cause a scrapped mission. The ZX1C-18 relocates the CMOS battery to an easily accessible location so that it can be replaced in minutes rather than hours or days. Further, it includes circuitry that actively monitors battery health.

About ZMicro

ZMicro provides rugged computing solutions for military and industrial applications. The company offers off-the-shelf, customizable, built-to-spec military-grade computers, displays, storage, and video enhancement systems. All products are manufactured on-site at ZMicro’s AS9100-certified facility at its San Diego, California, headquarters. In business since 1986, the company’s rugged computing products have been deployed in military, industrial and medical platforms worldwide. For more information, visit

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Pauline Shulman