OpenVPX single board-computer hosts TI multicore DSP

November 05, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Although VF360 is a 3U OpenVPX board, the integration of a Texas Instruments multicore Floating-Point DSP, a large FPGA and a versatile I/O mezzanine concept makes VF360 a stand-alone computer for a range of environments and applications.

Sundance Multiprocessor Technology a company with experience of combining a floating point Digital Signal Processor (DSP) from Texas Instruments with a versatile I/O interfaces for processing of ‘Real-World’ data, has introduced its latest concept, the VF360; An 3U OpenVPX “COTS” board.

VF360 is targeted towards the requirement for scalable system designs based on a single-board-computer, where each board is dedicated to a sole function, but can still share data on a common bus/backplane. The chosen backplane for the VF360 is the VITA65 OpenVPX, which has ample bandwidth in the form of PCI Express or Serial Rapid IO (SRIO) of fast switched serial interface for board to board communication, high-speed LVDS Parallel I/O and Ethernet TCP/IP for secure and long-distance interfaces.

The KeyStone-based TMS320C667x DSP from Texas Instruments was chosen for VF360. This DSP has options for 1x, 2x, 4x or 8x DSP cores, running at up to 1.25 GHz each, supported by 2 GB of local DDR3 64-bit wide memory and booting from on-board flash. The connectivity between the many PCI Express interfaces is through a 22x port PCIe switch and the built-in Ethernet Ports are routed to the backplane. Software support for the C667x is provided by the Multicore Software Development Kit (MCSDK) which is available free from TI. MSCDK will allow each core on the DSP to run different programs independently. One core could be running Linux, one could be running the free TI DSP/BIOS and others run applications.

“The C66x DSP family provides scalable, high-performance, analytics processing for a broad selection of applications, making the VF360 3U OpenVPX module an excellent design choice for many system solutions. The high bandwidth I/O capability and extended temperature (-40C to 100C) support increase the breadth of applications for the VF360 module,” said Arnon Friedmann, Texas Instruments. “The latest Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE) provides a great development environment with the integration of C/C++ compilers, debugger and multicore code tracing. In addition, TI offers OpenMP to ease the development of multicore applications and provides optimized math libraries so that developers can take full advantage of the DSP processing power while reducing their time to market.”

The FPGA found on the VF360 has 36x High-Speed Serial Transceivers that can each sustain above 12 Giga bits per second (Gbps) communication. This is complemented with 2x banks of 2 GB of DDR3 memory plus 2x banks of 32 MB of QDR-II SRAM for typical storage for pre-/post processing IP-Cores. The connectivity between the TI DSP and FPGA is either through the PCI Express switch or directly using four lanes of SRIO, Gen2, running at up to 5Gbps.