Mercury Debuts Switch Fabric Mezzanine Cards for RapidIO Multicomputers

9/27/2004 - Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) announced a family of switch fabric mezzanine cards (XMCs) that are configurable with Mercury RapidIO®-based multicomputers. The XMC daughtercards initially will be configured with the Mercury ImpactRTTM 3200 and PowerStream® 7000 RapidIO-based systems, supporting high-performance signal and image processing applications in defense electronics and semiconductor imaging.

The XMC family comprises the Sensor I/O XMC card, which provides a direct interface into the RapidIO switch fabric for sensor input, and two XMC memory daughtercards that serve as high-capacity buffers for incoming and outgoing data streams. These XMC modules join the third family member, the inter-chassis communication XMC, which is used in multi-chassis RapidIO systems.

The XMC standard builds on the existing PMC standard by adding switch fabric interconnects to the existing PCI bus interface. An XMC module defines additional connectors to be added to those already on a PMC, to support high-speed differential signals for fabric communication. By implementing new functionality on XMCs, Mercury continues to enhance the flexibility and adaptability of its highest performing systems.

"Our customers have long used PMCs to optimize the I/O for their system configuration," said Richard Jaenicke, director of product management, Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. "XMCs extend that standards-based approach to our RapidIO systems, enabling full-speed I/O connections directly into the RapidIO switch fabric."

The Sensor I/O XMC daughtercard enables low latency processing of data streaming input directly from sensors, implementing the Serial Front Panel Data Port (SFPDP) protocol over fiber on each of two 2.5 Gbaud full-duplex channels. System performance is further enhanced, as each channel can be programmed for data distribution without processor intervention. The interface can sense signals in the input data stream that indicate sensor mode changes, and route data appropriately to different processors or endpoints on the RapidIO fabric.

The RMOD4G and RMOD2G memory XMCs provide either 2 Gbytes or 4 Gbytes of DDR, so customers can easily add large amounts of memory to their system configurations. A sufficiently large input or output buffer can be an important element to optimizing system performance for stream computing applications. Customer application software can access the memory through its embedded high-performance RapidIO interface, which includes a DMA engine for broadcast, command chaining, and corner turning. The 266 MHz DDR memory provides access at full-duplex data rates up to 622 MB/s in Mercury’s processing systems.

The new XMCs are the most recent example of Mercury’s leadership in delivering next-generation products based on RapidIO technology. In August, the company announced a Multi-chassis Serial RapidIO capability, implemented on its ImpactRT 3200 and PowerStream 7000 systems via pairs of XMCs. This new capability uses high-bandwidth serial RapidIO over fiber connections to tightly link multiple chassis into a single, cohesive system.

XMC daughtercards are shipping now. Additional information about the next-generation mezzanine cards is available on Mercury’s web site at A high-resolution photograph can be downloaded from Mercury’s Image Library at U.S. pricing for the RapidIO XMC cards starts at $14,500.

About Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) is the leading provider of high-performance embedded, real-time digital signal and image processing computer systems. Mercury’s products play a critical role in a wide range of applications, transforming sensor data to information for analysis and interpretation. In military reconnaissance and surveillance platforms the Company’s systems process real-time radar, sonar, and signals intelligence data. Mercury’s systems are also used in state-of-the-art medical diagnostic imaging devices including MRI, CT, PET, and digital X-ray, and in semiconductor imaging applications including photomask generation and wafer inspection. Mercury provides advanced 3D image processing and visualization software and optimized systems to diverse end markets including life sciences, geosciences, and simulation. The Company also develops radio frequency (RF) products for enhanced communications capabilities in military and commercial applications.

Based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Mercury serves customers in North America, Europe and Asia through its direct sales force and a network of subsidiaries and distributors. Visit Mercury on the web at

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