13 Jun 2016

Stackable FPGAs with interfaces that are “OneBank” compatible

Sundance Multiprocessor Technology, an established supplier and manufacturer of embedded modules, has announced that it has integrated Xilinx’s smallest Kintex UltraScale FPGA with its EMC2-family of embedded boards for the “OneBank” PC/104-compatible format.

Sundance’s EMC2-family is a range of industrial-grade and deployment-ready PC/104 boards that feature either a Xilinx Zynq SoC or Xilinx Artix/Kintex FPGAs. The EMC2-KU35 is the latest member and has two banks of 16-bit DDR4 with close to 2Gbytes/sec bandwidth each. It also has four-lanes of PCI-Express and a VITA57.1 FMC-LPC module expansion for a range of COTS or bespoke I/O modules for custom expansion.

The FMC Modules has one high-speed serial lane, running at up to 12.5Gbit that could be used for a 10Gbit Ethernet module. It also has 34x pairs of low-voltage differential parallel lines for interfacing to “real-world” interfaces, like analog/digital signals or various camera interfaces.

The EMC2-family is designed to the latest, yet long-established, PC/104 small-form-factor 90mm by 96mm boards called “OneBank” and, using PCI Express switches, allows an infinite number of boards to be stacked for very demanding applications. The typical board-to-board bandwidth is above 500Mbytes/s and peak bandwidth is up 2Gbytes/s using the “OneBank” connectors, whereas a possible bandwidth to an FMC I/O module can exceed 6Gbytes/s.

“The evolution of Sundance’s EMC2-family of boards with either low-cost/low-power Artix-7 family or the fully integrated Zynq SoC with Dual-Core ARM-A9 has been significantly improved with the addition of the Kintex UltraScale family of FPGAs,” said Flemming Christensen, Managing Director of Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd. “While the EMC2-Z7030 board with an ARM9 Zynq SoC is a single-board computer with some FPGA fabric for I/O and pre/post processing and is ideal for low-cost systems, the newly launched EMC2-KU35 provides a magnitude more performance”

The EMC2-KU35 can also combine with one of the many x86-based SBCs that are manufactured by PC/104 Consortium members. One such example is the Versalogic “Bengal” with Intel Atom E3845 quad-core running at 1.9GHz per core and supporting Windows 7 Embedded. Adding an FMC module with two Camera Link ports will provide interfaces to high-resolution and very fast cameras in a stereo-vision setup for autonomously controlled vehicles or planes.

The EMC2-family benefits significantly from the PC/104 stackable concept that allows multiple boards to be integrated into a multi-processing system using PCI Express or Ethernet for inter-connection between each board in the system for a heterogeneous and asymmetrical computing platform. The concept is being developed by Sundance as part of $100 million industry-wide EU R&D program into Embedded Multi-Core Systems for Mixed Criticality, the Artemis-EMC2 Project

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