Sundance's New 3U OpenVPX board doubles as a “Single-Board-Computer”

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Although VF360 is an 3U OpenVPX board, the integration of a Texas Instruments multicore Floating-Point DSP, a large FPGA and a versatile I/O mezzanine concept makes VF360 a stand-alone computer for any environment and application.

“The C66x DSP family provides scalable, high-performance, analytics processing for a broad selection of applications, making the VF360 3U OpenVPX module an excellent design choice for many system solutions., Arnon Friedmann Texas Instruments

Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd, early adopters of combining a floating point digital signal processor (DSP) from Texas Instruments with a versatile I/O interfaces for processing of ‘Real-World’ data, has today released final production version of the latest concept, the VF360; An 3U OpenVPX “COTS” board.

VF360 is targeted towards the requirement for scalable system designs based on a single-board-computer, where each board is dedicated to a sole function, but can still share data on a common bus/backplane. The chosen backplane for the VF360 is the VITA65 OpenVPX, which has plenty of bandwidth in the form of PCI Express or Serial Rapid IO (SRIO) of fast switched serial interface for board to board communication, high-speed LVDS Parallel I/O and Ethernet TCP/IP for secure and long-distance interfaces.

The KeyStone™-based TMS320C667x DSP from Texas Instruments was chosen for VF360. This DSP has options for 1x, 2x, 4x or 8x DSP cores, running at up to 1.25GHz each, supported by 2GB of local DDR3 64-bit wide memory and boots from on-board flash. The connectivity between the many PCI Express interfaces is through a 22x port PCIe switch and the built-in Ethernet Ports are routed to the backplane. Software support for the C667x is provided by the Multicore Software Development Kit (MCSDK) which is available free from TI. MSCDK will allow each core on the DSP to run different programs independently. One core could be running Linux, one could be running the free TI DSP/BIOS and others run applications.

“The C66x DSP family provides scalable, high-performance, analytics processing for a broad selection of applications, making the VF360 3U OpenVPX module an excellent design choice for many system solutions. The high bandwidth I/O capability and extended temperature (-40C to 100C) support increase the breadth of applications for the VF360 module,” said Arnon Friedmann, Texas Instruments. “The latest Code Composer Studio™ integrated development environment (IDE) provides a great development environment with the integration of C/C++ compilers, debugger and multicore code tracing. In addition, TI offers OpenMP to ease the development of multicore applications and provides optimized math libraries so that developers can take full advantage of the DSP processing power while reducing their time to market.”

The FPGA found on the VF360 has 36x High-Speed Serial Transceivers that can each sustain above 12 Giga bits per second (Gbps) communication. This is complimented with 2x banks of 2GB of DDR3 memory plus 2x banks of 32MB of QDR-II SRAM for typical storage for pre-/post processing IP-Cores. The connectivity between the TI DSP <> FPGA is either through the PCI Express switch or directly using four lanes of SRIO, Gen2, running at up to 5Gbps.

“The VF360 is an impressive OpenVPX board for doing Signal Processing in any system, but what really does make VF360 unique is the additional VITA57.1 FMC-HPC interface. The flexibility offered by this interface and the vast number of compatible I/O Modules that can be interfaced to the core DSP processing engine, does truly make VF360 a ‘Single-Board-Computer”, says Mr. Flemming Christensen, Managing Director of Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd. and continues “The dynamic re-configurability of a FPGA combined with multi-port memories, controlled by on-board TI KeyStone-based DSP being it’s Master, will allow VF360 to be used in critical applications never envisaged before from a single OpenVPX board.

VF360 is an OpenVPX board, designed with rugged and convection-cooled MILCOM applications in mind, but Sundance can also build an air-cooled variation for non-military deployment. One such application for VF360 is high-voltage power-lines. A single VF360 could be coupled with a suitable monitoring FMC I/O Module and be a complete system. Multiple VF360s could be integrated and measure even more signals and still communicate back to a Central Control room, using a shared single Ethernet connection. Imagine if a number of VF360s were commissioned into a large OpenVPX rack. Each of the VF360’s could be measuring the same signals in parallel, they could even be checking for different patterns and report warning of potential faults. Careful attention to the system design would allow hot-swap of each VF360 for a fault tolerant solution and 24/7 monitoring in the power-station.

Pricing for VF360 starts at US $12850.00, The VF360 and all its variations are available on typical 4-8 weeks lead-time.

About Sundance

Sundance designs, develops, manufactures, and markets internationally high performance signal processing and reconfigurable systems for original equipment manufacturers in the MILCOM, Communication and Signal Processing markets. Leveraging its multiprocessor expertise and experience, Sundance provides OEMs with modular systems as well as data acquisition, I/O, communication and interconnectivity products that are essential to multiprocessor systems where scalability and performance are essential.

For more information about Sundance, visit here; more information about VF360 is here; more information about VITA65/OpenVPX is here; more information about VITA57/FMC is here; ore information about C667x DSPs from Texas Instruments is here.

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Ben Lovell

Flemming Christensen
since: 07/2015
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