Companies Introduce New VXS, VITA 41-based Mesh Architecture

1/20/2006 - Elma Bustronic of Fremont CA, TEK Microsystems, Inc. of Chelmsford, MA and QinetiQ Real Time Embedded Systems (RTES) of Malvern, announced a new VXS, VITA 41-based mesh architecture. The VXS Processor Mesh architecture will be proposed to VITA (VME International Trade Association) by the Companies as a new standard to define alternative backplane topologies for VXS. The VXS Processor Mesh is a powerful architecture with bandwidth that can deliver 112.5 GB/s of aggregate throughput within the processing mesh in a single chassis. This is a throughput improvement of 6x over currently available technology.

Elma Bustronic has also announced the industry's first 12 slot chassis to implement the VXS Processor Mesh. Developed in collaboration with TEK Microsystems, Inc, and QinetiQ RTES, this hybrid backplane implements two VME64x slots, three VME64x / VXS payload slots, and six VXS switch slots. Each switch slot implements twenty x 4 links for a total of 25 GB/s per switch slot. The system architecture supports up to 7.5 GB/s of throughput between the I/O front end and the processing mesh and a total of 112.5 GB/s of aggregate throughput within the processing mesh itself.

"The VXS switch / processor mesh architecture clearly demonstrates both the longevity and expandability of the VME platform for high performance embedded computing. In one system, a user could simultaneously use four stages of interconnect evolution: VME64, RACE++, VXS payload and VXS switch cards," comments Andy Reddig, president and CTO of TEK Microsystems, Inc. "With such a wide range of performance, VXS offers the user a unique combination of leading edge performance without compromising existing hardware and software investments or the ability to deploy incremental upgrades."

Michael Munroe of Elma Bustronic comments, "We consider the VXS Processor Mesh an 'instant architecture' because it does not define any new backplane pin-assignments beyond those already defined within the VITA 41.0 base specification. But with bandwidth capabilities exceeding 112.5 GB/s of aggregate throughput within the processing mesh, we have the most robust offering for demanding signal processing applications available on the market today."

By comparison VITA 46.3 Serial RapidIO mesh slot supports four x4 links for a total of 5 GB/s per slot and an AdvancedTCA full mesh slot supports fifteen x4 links for a total of 18.75 GB/s per slot. Data intensive applications such as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) can utilize the additional bandwidth provided by the new VXS Processor Mesh architecture to scale to higher number of channels, higher bandwidth, or both.

The new chassis was shown at the VITA-sponsored Bus and Board conference in Long Beach CA , January 16-18, 2006. Shown in the VXS Processor Mesh was QinetiQ's Callisto switch card allowing the user to implement a dense interconnect of multiple FPGA processing nodes with extremely high aggregate bandwidth. The resulting Callisto FPGA processing mesh interconnect topology uses five switch / processor cards to implement a 25 FPGA processing cluster.

VXS Processor Mesh Chassis Overview
Together with dedicated off-board user I/O as well as two channels in each of the processor slots dedicated to the central dual-star switched fabric the VXS Processor Mesh provides an extremely versatile environment that allows the flexible implementation of many system topologies. Topologies supported include traditional stars, dual stars, redundant dual stars, 4x pipelines (16x full duplex) 32x unidirectional rings or 16x bi-directional rings as well as a 4-channel (16x full duplex square mesh). Because each processor slot is served by the central dual star VXS switched fabric that is common to all VITA 41 architectures, this processor segment is scaleable. Data can be introduced to any of the processor fabric slots and data can be exported from any slot.

The innovative addition of a fat-pipe processor fabric segment further enhances the other power features of the VITA 41 architecture such as the I2C management bus, backwards compatibility to VME64x, PMC/XMC mezzanine sockets, rear transition slots, and the rugged VME64x mechanical architecture.

Other features implemented in the initial backplane offering is a rear facing I/O slot that conglomerates all of the payload slot rP0 reserved pins as well as 16 pins dedicated to user IO from each of the processor slots as well as two channels served by the dual-dual star VXS fabric switch.

Like many of today's switched fabric architectures the proposed VXS processor Mesh concept provides both a high performance transport bus as well as a dual-star base fabric. With the addition of support for the VITA 38 system management bus which is also known as (PICMG 2.9) as well as traditional VME64x SBCs, this bus has a richness that should allow VITA 41 to address an extremely wide and demanding field of applications. The support of VME64x single board computers allows system designers access to the full field of competitive VME boards to serve both as an application interface as well as the human interface functionality.

VXS Processor Mesh chassis and backplanes are available from Elma Bustronic Corporation today and are priced beginning at $ 5,000 depending upon the configuration. The Callisto switch card is available today and is priced starting at $ 20,000.

About Elma Bustronic Corporation
Founded in 1989, Elma Bustronic specializes in the design and manufacture of high-performance backplanes. Elma Bustronic has a complete line of industry-standard backplanes, including AdvancedTCA, CompactPCI, VME, VME64x, VME320, H.110 CTEL, and VXI. Elma Bustronic's custom design service combines creative engineering, highly sophisticated computer simulation and modern design techniques to offer customized backplanes that meet the most specialized system requirements. A member of the ELMA Electronic group, Elma Bustronic is located in Fremont, California . Elma Bustronic is a member of PICMGTM, VITA, and the StarFabric Trade Association.

About TEK Microsystems, Inc.
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Chelmsford, Massachusetts , TEK Microsystems, Inc., designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of advanced high-performance solutions for embedded real-time applications. Tekmicro's comprehensive product line includes advanced I/O carrier boards based on widely adopted industry standards and more than 30 PMC/XMC cards. These products are used in real-time systems designed for data recording, data acquisition, instrumentation, and signal processing applications such as reconnaissance, signals intelligence, satellite telemetry, mine detection, medical imaging, radar, sonar, semiconductor inspection and seismic research.

Under a commercial alliance TEK Microsystems and QinetiQ jointly develop, market and sell high performance carrier, payload, PMC/XMC, and computer boards.

About QinetiQ
QinetiQ (pronounced ki net ik as in 'kinetic energy') is a leading international defense security and technology company that was formed in July 2001 from the UK Government's Defense Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA). Today, QinetiQ has over 11,500 employees, who deliver technology-based services and exploit QinetiQ's strengths in technology research by selling systems solutions, products and licenses to government and commercial customers in a spectrum of defense, security and other commercial markets. QinetiQ has also developed a significant overseas customer base and has established a sales operation in Crystal City , near Washington DC to forge closer links with this potentially significant market.

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