Electronic Design

RapidIO Meets CompactPCI

CompactPCI system, which adds 8-bit parallel RapidIO for high-speed connectivity, is five times the power of its predecessor.

The board market is always looking for novel ways to provide high-performance platforms. Mercury Computer Systems enters the fray by using RapidIO in its new ImpactRT 3100 system (see photo).

The ImpactRT 3100 is a CompactPCI-based solution that adds 8-bit parallel RapidIO connections to the PMC (PCI Mezzanine Card) and CompactPCI P0 connector interfaces. The latter uses a fiber-optic interconnect. The PMC interface, also named RapidIO Mezzanine Card (RMC), is already an IEEE standard, IEEE1386.1.

The ImpactRT 3100 scales to 2.4 TeraOPS with 60 Gbytes/s of bandwidth, which suits compute- and data-intensive applications. This is five times the power of the current ImpactRT S500 system based on Mercury’s Race++ technology. The RapidIO interface provides high-speed connections between boards and the mezzanine cards.

The RapidIO and Race++ systems are software-compatible. Both systems work with Mercury’s multiprocessor graphical development and debugging tools, such as the TATL multiprocessor trace analysis tool and library.

The RapidIO connection is very important to Mercury because of the large number of RapidIO supporters. A number of peripherals, general-purpose processors, and DSPs have built-in RapidIO interfaces, making them very easy to incorporate into an ImpactRT 3100 system. The initial processor boards available for the ImpactRT 3100 use four PowerPC 7445 microprocessors.

It’s also possible to bridge between the two technologies, although this may require custom work by Mercury. Pricing for the ImpactRT 3100 development systems starts at $95,000.

Mercury Computer Systems

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