More 3D & G, are they computers?
So you know I think the new Raymarine G Series and Furuno NavNet 3D are pretty big deals on the high end of marine electronics. But they are computers, aren’t they? Interesting question. I don’t see Raymarine using that term on the G Processor pages, nor Furuno on the NN3D MFDBB pages. But they both have hard drives, they both handle lots of data and graphics very fast, and NN3D even supports conventional USB mice and keyboards. In fact, if you ask the guys who designed these machines, they’re not shy about what’s going on. The G Series run on Linux and NavNet 3D runs on Windows XP Embedded. So, yes, I think these are computers, even if built for the purpose (does the G above look rugged, or what?), and thoroughly locked up against normal PC software/hardware compatibility issues.
But does even a heavy-duty locked-up computer make you nervous on a boat? I’ve heard some worry about the drives but mind you these are heavy duty shock mounted units, and, besides, it’s easy (if costly) to build redundancy into either system. Both are essentially headless, with all major sensors like radar connecting via Ethernet hub. And both, I think, automatically copy created routes, etc. to all processors on a network. Sounds pretty reliable to me, plus I like some of the Windows related interface features seen on NN3D screens like the fishfinder setup one below. What do you think?