Simrad Glass Bridge, who knew?


I was somewhat chagrined to open the latest issue of PMY and find a full page ad for an interesting new electronics system I had never heard of!  I guess it’s hard to manage a world-wide product introduction; heck, even searching the Simrad Yachting site for the GB60, as this system is called, yields nada, at least today. At any rate, it’s pretty clear from the pictures and European press releases I found that Simrad Yachting has teamed up with Jeppesen Marine, i.e. Nobeltec. The PR references Passport charts, photo maps, etc. but the screen above sure looks like Admiral to me. Which is not a bad thing. Why reinvent the wheel, especially when you have all the hardware that a big Admiral glass bridge system wants to live in.
   When I visited Simrad a few years ago, I was surprised at how many commercial grade marine computer products they made. Hence there’s a lot of experience behind that dual processor black box PC below. Ditto the keyboard and even the cool arm rest control. Simrad has also been making, or at least OEMing, monitors for a while but these, available in 12”, 15” and 19” sizes, are a new super slim design. I dare say that a full 3 monitor GB60 system, like below (and really big here), will be pricey but powerful, and some will love that it’s all under one warranty. Intriguing detail: the system can talk NMEA 2000 (aka SimNet); will regular Nobeltec charting programs acquire 2000 soon? That would be a good thing.


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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

5 Responses

  1. Russ says:

    I for one am not willing to make my vessel navigation systems dependent upon Microsoft Windows. XP is certainly more reliable than it’s predecessors, but I’d like to see postings from those who have never had to reboot their system because of an OS problem.
    And Nobeltec’s copy protection scheme can also make reinstallation a painful process, particularly if the problem occurs on a weekend. I find it a great tool for planning, but consider it poor seamanship to rely on Microsoft to get me home on a dark and stormy night.

  2. Buck says:

    I think they made a couple of odd choices on the PC side of things. To start off I think its a dual core not a dual processor.
    Lets say it is a a dual Xeon system. Its going to generate a lot of heat, and consume a fair amount of power. It would also cost much more then necessary. Nobeltec does not use SMP or even SMT.
    Like I said I think it is a dual core, and it would be the smarter choice of the two. It would have less heat to dissipate, it would be more power efficient, and would cost less. The only problem I have with that is that they are going to be using an outdated technology. I talked with a friend in the industry that got a presentation on this system stating it would be running at 3.0 Ghz. Intel’s new line of dual core CPUs do not run at 3.0 Ghz (yet.) The new CPUS will be around longer, they run quite a bit cooler, and they are much faster. Intel has switched from raw speed (because they hit a wall with their netburst chips,) and now are concentrating on IPC.
    Russ also makes a good point. Windows Vista is right around the corner. RC1 was already released for testing, and it has been very stable for me so far.
    I really like the displays, but I think they need to redesign the Black Box.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    For what it’s worth, I checked the press release and it does say dual processor:
    “The unique GB60 is based on a powerful dual processor black box, making it the most versatile navigation system on the market.”
    I don’t think power is an issue on the vessels this rig is intended for.

  4. Guy says:

    Intrested in your views, saw the GB60 at Southampton last week, quite impressed but found it a little slow when loading up different pages. Not that techey so any good questions to ask simrad, when I have full demo of three screen set up in 10 days time??????

  5. Anonymous says:

    Basically you need to ask Simrad,
    Whats the warranty.
    What happens if it crashes.
    Whats the copy protection scheme (dongle or software license, can i reinstall my self ect)
    How readily will software updates be avalible?
    I know the Simrad distributor in the UK and they are pretty good so backup shouldnt be a problem.

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