Rugged VPX module provides DSPs and FPGA for software radio, imaging or radar

August 13, 2014 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
CommAgility has announced that its VPX-D16A4 module is now shipping to early customers. The module has also now been tested across its full conduction cooled, -40C to +70C temperature range.

The VPX-D16A4 is a rugged high performance DSP and FPGA based card, and is CommAgility’s first board in the compact VITA™ 65, 3U OpenVPX™ form factor. It is ideal for applications such as software defined radio (SDR) (including LTE, Remote Radio Head (RRH), WiMax and Cloud RAN), imaging or radar, and is well suited to military or other harsh field deployment environments. It is available as either conduction cooled or air cooled versions.

The board is based around a Texas Instruments (TI) TCI6638K2K KeyStone™-based System-on-Chip (SoC) and a TI TMS320C6678 SoC, which between them contain sixteen C66x DSP cores and four ARM® Cortex®-A15 cores. The two SoCs are closely coupled with TI’s HyperLink bus as well as Gigabit Ethernet, and each device has a 20Gbaud SRIO link to the VPX backplane.

The module provides flexible I/O interfacing, including support for SRIO, Ethernet, CPRI and Multi-Gigabit Transceiver (MGT) to the backplane plus links to RF or analogue I/O. For additional I/O or co-processing, the main DSP is connected via PCI Express and the AIF2 CPRI interface to a Xilinx Kintex-7 K325T FPGA, which also has Gigabit Ethernet and its own backplane MGT connections.

A full Linux BSP and example software support is provided to accelerate customer development, based on TI’s Multicore Software Development Kit (MCSDK) for Linux and the Xilinx Vivado FPGA development suite. The mi!SmallCellPHY™-TI from MIMOon is available fully integrated and tested, providing a complete LTE physical layer.