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 Tekmicro Makes Highest FPGA Processing Density in a 6U Form Factor

Chelmsford, MA – September 9, 2010 – TEK Microsystems, Incorporated, the leading supplier of VME and VXS-based signal acquisition, generation and FPGA-based processing products, has announced the first platform based on its next generation QuiXilica-V6 architecture, bringing Xilinx’s Virtex-6 FPGA technology to VME and VXS based applications.   The new QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS baseboard combines three Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGAs with two QuiXmodule sites, supporting the industry’s widest range of Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) resolutions and bandwidths using a common hardware architecture.  Like previous generations of QuiXilica products based on Virtex II Pro and Virtex 5 technology, the QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS is compatible with legacy VME systems as well as newer ANSI/VITA 41 VXS based systems in both laboratory and deployed / rugged applications.

“Tekmicro is committed to providing our customers with the best available FPGA processing technology for interoperable systems using deployable form factors such as VME and VXS.  The new QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS baseboard is another industry first for Tekmicro, providing the first 6U solution with Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA technology”, comments Andrew Reddig, CEO / CTO of Tekmicro.  “By combining this new baseboard with our existing range of QuiXmodules, customers can rapidly create coherent high channel count signal acquisition and generation solutions using ADCs and DACs from 160 MSPS up to 5 GSPS, with twice the FPGA processing density than other solutions on the market today.”

The QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS baseboard provides a modular COTS product architecture with support for deployed environments.  With the QuiXilica-V6 architecture, users may combine the widest range of off-the-shelf ADC and DAC options with the most advanced FPGA technology on the market today to solve critical problems in defense and intelligence applications such as radar, software defined radio, multi-INT fusion and persistent surveillance.  Future products will continue to add more ADC and DAC options as well support for other form factors such as OpenVPX while maintaining firmware and software compatibility across the QuiXilica product range.

QuiXilica-V6 Raises the Bar on FPGA Density
The QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS baseboard has three, highly connected, Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA sites.  The two front-end FPGAs are attached directly to the QuiXmodule sites, providing a simple and direct high speed connection between the ADC and DAC devices and the FPGA.  The third FPGA can be used to support additional processing, and also any required protocol support for either front panel or backplane interfaces.
All of the FPGA sites use the FF1759 package, which supports both LXT devices, optimized for high density logic, as well as SXT devices, optimized for digital signal processing.  Each of the three FPGA sites can support the devices shown in Table 1 below.

FPGA Device    Logic Slices    DSP Slices
LX240T-2         37,680              768
LX365T-2         56,880              576
LX550T-2         85,920              864
SX315T-2         49,200           1,344
SX475T-2         74,400           2,016
Table 1: QuiXilica-V6 FPGA Device Options

The options available with Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA technology expand both the range of options and the maximum processing density, while improving both performance and power efficiency.  Figure 1 below shows the relative logic and DSP processing capability for the QuiXilica-V5 family, a higher density Virtex-5 based option, and the QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS baseboard.  The QuiXilica options are shown in both minimum and maximum FPGA density configurations.





Figure 1: FPGA Processing Capability in 6U Form Factor

Memory Resources
QuiXilica-V6 includes six banks of DDR3 memory with total capacity of 5 GB (with future options for 10 GB) and aggregate throughput of 32+ GB/s, supporting a wide range of signal processing algorithms with deep memory buffering of the entire signal acquisition stream.  The back end FPGA also supports two banks of QDR II+ memory for additional flexibility.

Network Interconnect
The QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS baseboard provides a rich set of network interconnect options for both control and data plane communications.  An onboard Gigabit Ethernet switch provides an integrated LAN-on-board network which connects the front panel interface, backplane interfaces, FPGA nodes, and system management processor into a local area network for control and status monitoring.  The VXS backplane fabric interface can also support dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet interconnect using 10GBASE-KX4 interfaces with appropriate protocol cores in the back end FPGA.

Serial Interconnect
The QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS baseboard supports 12 full duplex high speed fiber optic connections through the front panel along with 8 to 12 full duplex high speed fabric connections through the VXS P0 connector.  Each Virtex-6 GTX transceiver supports up to 6.4 Gbps using either 8B/10B or 64/66 encoding, increasing the effective data rate by almost 2.5x per link over Virtex-5 GTP based solutions.  When all front panel and backplane links are utilized, the QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS baseboard supports total aggregate bandwidth of 37 GB/s (18.5 GB/s in each direction) to other off board processing resources. With suitable IP cores instantiated in the user’s application firmware code, a wide range of standard communication  protocols accross the high speed serial physical layer can be supported, including PCI Express, Serial FPDP, 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Aurora.

System Management
The QuiXilica-V6 architecture incorporates a next generation system management processor for bitstream management, board sanitization, power and thermal monitoring, built-in-test and extended diagnostics.  The system management processor supports both I2C and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces to support both VITA-46.11-style system management as well as network-based protocols.  All system management functions may also be accessed through the VMEbus interface for legacy applications that require a VME-based control architecture.

Ruggedization Support for Deployed Applications
All QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS products are available for a wide range of operating environments, including commercial grade, rugged air and conduction cooled, allowing the card to be used for both laboratory and deployed requirements in both VME and VXS systems.

Comprehensive Developers Kit Speeds Time To Market
All QuiXilica-V6 products are supported by a comprehensive Developer’s Kit that includes interface IP cores for all onboard resources along with Tekmicro’s QuiXtream network toolkit for rapid application development using network-enabled FPGAs.  Reference designs are included, with source code, to support quick prototyping of user applications with minimal learning curve.  The QuiXilica-V6 Developer’s Kit maintains common APIs across FPGA families, supporting rapid, easy migration of existing V5 applications to V6 technology.

Initial shipments of the Atlas-V6 and Titan-V6 products based on the QuiXilica-V6 VME/VXS baseboard will be delivered to early access customers starting in October 2010.  Standard delivery times of 8 to 12 weeks ARO will apply for the full QuiXilica-V6 digitizer product range at that time.

About TEK Microsystems, Incorporated.
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Tekmicro designs, manufactures and delivers a wide range of advanced high-performance boards and systems for embedded real-time signal acquisition, generation, processing, storage and recording.  Tekmicro provides both commercial and rugged grade products which are used in real-time systems designed for a wide range of defense, intelligence and industrial applications such as C4ISR, signals intelligence, electronic warfare and radar.