contents

hardware
 
Industry's First VXS Multicomputer System

Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. announced it has expanded the PowerStream integrated multicomputer family with the PowerStream 6100, the industry's first 6U VME system based on the Serial RapidIO interconnect fabric and compliant with the VXS (VITA 41.2) form factor standard. At 761 GFLOPS and 42 GB/s sustained fabric throughput, the PowerStream 6100 sets a new record for performance available in the VME form factor.

The performance of key portions of signals intelligence and radar applications today are limited by fabric throughput capability, as sampling rates continue to increase in data acquisition devices. The addition of Serial RapidIO to the VME platform can nearly quadruple the amount of bandwidth that can be sampled by signals intelligence systems when compared to today's RACE++ fabric-enabled VME systems, the highest performing open-standard systems currently on the market. Similarly, VXS (VITA 41) can increase the number of radar/SIGINT antenna channels in a given system by nearly four times.

Further, RapidIO can transmit data in both directions simultaneously, so application performance could increase by almost eight times when compared with fabric-enabled VME solutions available today. A key measure of fabric connectivity is bisection bandwidth which improves to 24 GB/s with the PowerStream 6100 - greater than ten times better than today's highest performing VME system. These improvements directly translate into a smaller system footprint, lower cost, reduced power consumption, and/or higher performance for military sensor manufacturers.

The PowerStream 6100 incorporates the recently announced Mercury Momentum Series VPA-200 dual-PowerPC 7448 VXS host/PMC carrier module, and the Echotek(TM) Series 3000T and 5000T RF radio frequency tuner modules. With additional VXS-compliant modules and robust system software, the PowerStream 6100 expands Mercury's multicomputer offering and fulfills the strategic vision articulated in the course of Mercury's acquisitions of Advanced Radio Corp., Momentum Computer and Echotek Corp.

The announcement includes the following system component modules:
* PowerQUICC 8540 VME host controller and dual-PMC carrier.
* Echotek Series ECV4-4 quad-channel, wideband A/D receiver and FPGA compute module based on the Xilinx Virtex-4 processor.
* High Compute Density (HCD) Card with Quad PowerPC 7448 processors that provide 761 GFLOPS when configured with 68 1.4-GHz processors.
* Serial RapidIO Fabric Switch Card supporting inter-board switching between 18 VXS payload cards at a sustained system throughput exceeding 42 GB/s. The Fabric Switch Card is based upon Mercury's recently announced MC432 RapidIO switch semiconductor solution.
* A comprehensive family of fully integrated PMC I/O cards that provide basic I/O and other functions: Fibre channel, MIL-STD 1553, Flash memory, non-volatile storage, bulk memory expansion, video capture, video display, CameraLink, IRIG, GPS, A/D and D/A (in addition to our own Echotek Series), serial controllers, parallel GPIO, SCSI, Asynchronous Transfer Mode, Firewire, Serial FPDP, Gigabit Ethernet, RACEway and more.

The VXS form factor is backward-compatible with the VME64 standard, providing defense integrators with a seamless migration path to future systems that support a high-speed serial switched fabric. PowerStream 6100 delivers "compile-and-go" compatibility with the Mercury RACE++ Series 6U VME64 multicomputer, which is based on the Mercury MCOE open software environment. MCOE is an integrated and sophisticated development environment comprising tools, libraries, and middleware that runs on all of the Mercury PowerStream Series systems, which are currently built around the 3U CompactPCI, 6U VXS and high-end multiport form factors. MCOE is used by thousands of developers worldwide in diverse multicomputer applications. MCOE on the PowerStream 6100 supports the Linux and VxWorks operating systems in addition to MCexec, Mercury's ubiquitous and robust POSIX-compliant real-time kernel.

Co-founded by Mercury Computer Systems, RapidIO is a proven, scalable switch fabric architecture specifically designed to be attuned to the needs of embedded OEMs and military contractors. The RapidIO Trade Association, where Mercury serves as a steering committee member, has grown to become a vibrant community of nearly 50 members. Mercury edited the VITA 41.2 standard which implements RapidIO as a VXS fabric.

The VXS standard was completed under the auspices of the VMEbus International Trade Association (VITA) for which Mercury serves on the board of directors. Mercury is continuing its extensive involvement in the VITA standards working groups that are actively renewing the VMEbus architecture and ecosystem and advocating commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions for existing and emerging market applications. Mercury is also editing the VPX (VITA 46) and REDI (VITA 48) standards which will complement the PowerStream 6100 in Mercury's product portfolio.



write your comments about the article :: 2005 Computing News :: home page