Boards with four of the same Power PC devices are expected to have nearly the same performance. After all, the processors are the same and run at the same speeds; all the vendors have access to the same memory chip densities and speeds; and, the bus paths are limited by the performance of the memory and processor. However, what this article will show is that, when comparing COTS boards that use the Power PC 7400, differences in memory architectures lead to different numbers of boards for implementing real-time, real world applications.
To make the comparisons more concrete, three commercially available Quad Power PC-based 6U VME architectures are compared for a hypothetical but realistic real-time pulse-Doppler radar application. This example was chosen because it represents common radar processing applications. More broadly, the two-dimensional processing described is prevalent in numerous other radar applications such as SAR and Sea Surveillance as well as EO/IR image processing, sonar, medical imaging and factory automation.
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