Phoenix VPF2 VXS DSP Card Blends MPC8641D PowerPC, Dual Virtex-5 FPGAs

VMETRO announced the Phoenix VPF2, a rugged COTS DSP processing card which integrates a Freescale MPC8641D processor, two Xilinx(R) Virtex-5 FPGAs and a VXS based high-speed serial inter-connect fabric. The VPF2 tackles both high-bandwidth pre-processing and sophisticated back-end processing in one 6U VME64/VITA 41 product for demanding DSP applications such as real-time video processing, surveillance, radar and other applications that demand the highest levels of flexibility and performance.

The processing heart of the Phoenix VPF2 is a Freescale MPC8641D dual-core processor based on Power Architecture(TM) technology. The cores run up to 1.25 GHz with 2 Gbytes of memory to support operating systems such as VxWorks and Linux(R). Integrated within the MPC8641D processor is a complete I/O sub-system, including two Gigabit Ethernet ports, serial I/O, dual DDR/DDR2 memory controllers, VME interface and independent x8 PCI Express(TM) links to the Xilinx FPGAs and the XMC/PMC site. The VPF2 has Ethernet options which support both RJ45 and optical interfaces or backplane I/O.

Closely coupled to the MPC8641D processor are two Xilinx Virtex-5 SX95T FPGAs, optimized for DSP performance, or LX110T FPGAs, optimized for high-performance logic. With their on-chip serial transceivers, either of the Virtex-5 FPGA options provide high bandwidth off-board serial communications channels to processing and I/O sub-systems. Since the FPGAs connect to fast I/O streams, they can pre-process incoming data in real-time without bottlenecks. The Virtex-5 FPGAs deliver industry-leading performance for pixel-rate computation, digital down conversion, FFTs, filters and encryption. The FPGAs are fully user programmable and can be configured from flash memory. VMETRO speeds up the development time by providing TransComm, a data streaming communications toolkit. This toolkit simplifies connecting VPF2 FPGA centric systems together allowing the user to focus on key IP core development. Both FPGA devices are supported with 4x 4M x 18-bit banks of QDR SRAM and 2x 64M x 16-bit SDRAM. These memories allow large data sets, such as frame buffers or large FFT information, to be stored locally for maximum FPGA performance.

“The Phoenix VPF2 is two processing platforms in one – a Freescale MPC8641D dual-core processor and Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGAs. The result is a scalable processing engine able to tackle a range of demanding applications in a single, highly integrated product,” says Thomas Nygaard, Chief Technical Officer for VMETRO. “The CPU/FPGA architecture was pioneered on the Phoenix VPF1. Its success proves that the architectural formula works and now the Phoenix VPF2 is even better with higher performance and bandwidth, lower power and more functionality.”

The Phoenix VPF2 is based on the VXS (VITA 41) standard, an evolution of the VME64 specification. The key advantage of VXS is the introduction of eight serial communications channels through its alternative P0 connector. Implemented on the VPF2, this allows for aggregate data rates in excess of 2 Gbytes/sec. VXS boards can be used alongside VME64 boards using suitable backplanes (or with the VME64 P0 connectors removed) and provides a measure of backwards compatibility using VMEbus communications.

The VPF2 is the latest member of VMETRO’s Phoenix family of processing cards based on high-speed real-time serial communications for scalable DSP solutions. Phoenix products include data recorder blades, analog I/O sub-systems, processors, switches, software, firmware and systems infrastructure.

As with all members of VMETRO’s Phoenix family, the VPF2 will be available in a number of environmental build options ranging from air-cooled commercial to rugged conduction-cooled. The VPF2 will ship to customers in 4Q 2007.

VMETRO [OSE: VME] provide integrators of high-end embedded computer systems with products and services from development through deployment, with the highest levels of performance, innovation and reliability. Main product areas include 1) Embedded Computing – high-performance I/O and Digital Signal Processing boards and systems based on FPGAs and PowerPCs, 2) Data Recording and Storage – high-performance long endurance Recording / Playback systems and Rugged Storage solutions, and 3) Bus and Protocol Analyzers – advanced tools used to debug, optimize, validate and test computer based systems. All products are based on open standards like VME/VXS and PCI/cPCI/PMC/XMC, with strong focus on high-speed serial interconnects such as Fibre Channel, Serial FPDP, Aurora and PCI Express.