FPGA Advantages in Interface Applications
Embedded networks require data movement solutions that are reliable and high-performing across many environments. For example, an embedded sensor processor will move data throughout its platform by utilizing network interface protocols. In order to transport this data, it’s often advantageous to use an FPGA-based interface solution over general-purpose processors and other ASICs to maximize data flow and control.
Should you be considering FPGA-based solutions for your test & embedded interface applications? In many cases, the answer is yes.
What Are The Advantages of Using FPGAs?
One main advantage of FPGAs is their ability to be highly tailored to a specific application and later reprogrammed to meet new requirements. ASICs can also be tailored to specific applications, but development is costly and extremely time-consuming. FPGAs can provide the ability to develop special-purpose hardware more expeditiously without the cost associated with spinning an ASIC design.
Another major advantage of FPGAs is the ability to perform many data operations simultaneously. A general purpose processor normally does one task and moves on to the next. FPGAs allow you to process many tasks in parallel. This is especially useful and more efficient when handling large data sets. Sort, filter, and decimate operations are done more efficiently and allow the primary processors to focus on the signal processing algorithms. This saves on overall system power and resource consumption.
Finally, embedded network interface cards must be able to withstand rugged conditions such as extreme temperatures and vibration. FPGAs have an advantage over many standard commercial processors in that they are available in extended temperature and military-grade packages. In addition to the rugged package options, FPGAs are often supported over long lifespans. This long lifetime availability, coupled with their reliable nature makes them a top choice in military and aerospace applications that encounter extreme temperatures and conditions like high-altitude, shock, vibration, and salt corrosion.
Customizable FPGA Interface Solutions
Key advantages of FPGAs are their flexibility and reprogrammability. While FPGA interface solutions are available off the shelf from New Wave DV, our partners are empowered to add their own algorithms to the FPGA fabric should they choose to customize.
With the life cycles of many platforms lasting decades, designers need to make incremental updates to systems over time. Often, new COTS equipment may not have the required native interfaces to connect directly to the platform.
FPGA-based protocol bridges are an ideal solution in this scenario, allowing legacy and new protocols, such as RDMA or RoCEv2, to bridge with a protocol like sFPDP, for example. These FPGA bridge implementations allow new COTS equipment to be used on existing platforms while requiring no changes to the existing equipment on that platform.
For example, a new mission computer could be updated without replacing every sensor on the platform. This provides increased capability and lifespan at a significantly reduced cost. FPGA customizations can include protocols, speeds, port counts, and other non-standard features. New Wave DV’s team of engineers can accommodate your customization needs.
XMC/PMC FPGA Interface Cards
There are many advantages to using FPGA cards, but it’s easier to see how they apply to you specifically by looking closer at the different available options.
V1151 Quad-Port XMC FPGA Card
An advanced XMC solution designed to provide real time high-bandwidth network interface and processing modules for next generation signal intelligence systems.
V1152 12-Port XMC FPGA Card
Dense XMC network IO solution featuring 12 ports that provides real time high-bandwidth network interface and processing modules for next generation signal intelligence systems.
V1153 12-Port Rugged XMC FPGA Card
The V1153 supports 12 full-duplex optical ports operating at up to 25Gb/s per port over a -40 to +85C temperature range and is VITA 20 compliant.
V1141 Quad-Port PMC/XMC FPGA Card
The V1141 is the lowest power and most secure programmable networking card we have available, designed to provide real time high-bandwidth network interfaces.
V1142 Quad-Port 1394b-AS5643 XMC FPGA Card
The V1142 provides the industry's only completely FPGA-based 1394b-AS5643 interface solution in a PMC/XMC form factor.
V1144 12-Port 1394b-AS5643 XMC FPGA Card
The V1144 provides the industry's highest density 1394b-AS5643 test and development card with 12 front-panel transformer-coupled 1394b ports.