Acromag's PMC-VFX modules feature a Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA with a hard core PowerPC block that is reconfigurable for high-performance I/O processing and user-developed computing applications. The solution enables users to offload CPU-intensive operations such as video/3D data processing or floating-point math for superior system performance. By streamlining the design and limiting features to core functions needed for fast and easy implementation, Acromag makes FPGA-based computing accessible to many more applications.
For fast data transfer in and out of the FPGA, the PMC-VFX provides large banks of DDR2 DRAM and dual-port SRAM for high-speed DMA transfer to a PCI bus. A high-throughput PCI-X interface ensures plenty of bandwidth to rapidly move data. An assortment of plug-in I/O extension modules offers flexibility to interface various analog and digital I/O signal types.
The PMC base card provides 64 I/O channels or 32 LVDS lines accessible via P4 rear connectors. Inserting optional front-connecting AXM I/O extension modules augments I/O processing capabilities with an efficient interface for 16-bit 105-MHz A/D conversion, CMOS digital I/O, RS-485 differential signals, or extra LVDS I/O lines. Typical uses include processing of video, 3D data, radar/sonar, software-defined radio, electronic warfare, floating-point math and fuzzy logic algorithms.
The PMC module uses the Xilinx VFX70T Virtex-5 FPGA with 71,680 logic cells and an embedded PowerPC 440 processor 32-bit RISC core. With the configurable FPGA's hard core PowerPC, developers can customize off-the-shelf PMC modules and use high-performance parallel and serial processing to solve the most challenging computing applications. The PowerPC core also enables system-on-chip functionality with real-time processing capabilities.
Application programs are downloaded directly into the FPGA or to the 32-MB flash memory from the PCI bus. Acromag's Engineering Design Kit provides utilities to help users develop their programs, load VHDL into the FPGA, and to establish DMA transfers between the FPGA and the CPU. The kit includes a compiled FPGA file and example VHDL code provided as selectable blocks with examples for the local bus interface, read/writes, and change-of-state interrupts to the PCI bus. A JTAG interface allows users to perform on-board VHDL simulation. Further analysis is supported with a ChipScope Pro interface.
Boards start at $4,950 with extended temperature (-40 to 85°C) and conduction-cooled models available. See the board at the Embedded Systems Conference, at Acromag's booth, #1910.