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COTS FPGA computing platforms maximize Virtex-4 performance

Posted: 01 Nov 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:nallatech? commercial off-the-shelf? cots? fpga? xilinx?

Nallatech has announced four new commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) FPGA products that combine the processing and I/O performance of Xilinx virtex-4 FPGAs with its DIME-II architecture.

The latest products are designed to maximum the density performance of Virtex-4 FPGAs in high-performance embedded computing applications, including surveillance and reconnaissance, software defined radio and signal intelligence.

Nallatech's announcement includes the BenNUEY-PCI-X, a PCI-X DIME-II motherboard with on-board Virtex-4 FX FPGA and three DIME-II expansion sites. Three additional FPGA computing modules complete the new product set: BenBLUE-V4 dual-FPGA processing engine; BenDATA-V4 mixed memory and digital I/O module; and BenADC-V4 ultra-high-speed analog capture module.

Nallatech's new COTS FPGA products are available with the Virtex-4 LX FPGAs with high performance logic capability or the Virtex-4 SX family optimized for DSP performance. Nallatech's Virtex-4 products support industry standard form factors, including cPCI, VME, PCI and PCI-104, delivering up to eight Virtex-4 FPGAs on a single COTS FPGA computing platform.

"These new Virtex-4 solutions are a significant milestone in Nallatech's product development that enable developers to use the full potential of the Xilinx Virtex-4 architecture with our hardware, software and design tools," said Malachy Devlin, SVP and CTO of Nallatech. "As a Xilinx Alliance Program Partner, Nallatech was able to combine critical enhancements during our engineering to the DIME-II architecture with attention to the latest industry standards/form factors and extended hardware and software support."

The BenNUEY-PCI-X is the third generation of the BenNUEY series of PCI cards and offers the 1GB host bandwidth of the PCI-X bus. An on-board Virtex-4 FX60 or FX100 provides a balance of programmable resources for processing and system management, while three DIME-II expansion slots allow users to optimize system resources to meet processing, memory and I/O requirements.

The BenBLUE-V4 features dual Virtex-4 LX100 or LX160 FPGAs, 64MB, DDR2 SRAM, implemented on an enhanced DIME-II architecture. The BenDATA-V4 features a Virtex-4 LX or SX with a 16MB DDR2 SRAM and 1GB DDR-II SDRAM.

By using the latest DDR2 SRAM and DDR-II SDRAM, Nallatech's new memory subsystems increase bandwidth by more than 275 percent compared to previous modules using technologies such as ZBT SRAM, according to the company. This allows system designers to satisfy higher processing demands, use fewer processing modules, reduce hardware dimensions and simplify integration.

Nallatech's new COTS FPGA products

The BenADC-V4 ultra-high-speed analog capture module combines the Virtex-4 SX or LX and 16 Mbytes of DDR2 SRAM with four independent analog inputs feeding four 12-bit 250MSPS ADC channels. This will allow developers to capture, digitize, analyze and manipulate multi-channel or complex signals in real time using lightweight, low-footprint hardware with lower overall power requirements than DSP farms or other large multi-processor arrays.

The four Virtex-4 COTS FPGA products are scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2006; pricing is not yet available.

- Ismini Scouras

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