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Single-Board Reconfigurable Computer Eyes Real-Time Apps

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Claimed to be the industry’s first single-board reconfigurable computer (SBRC), the ARIX full-size, scalable PCI card supports a TMS320C44 DSP tightly coupled to a Xilinx Virtex 300, 800 or 1000 FPGA and reportedly can outperform multi-processor architectures of more than 50 DSPs of the same family. Designed to enable system developers to implement real-time signal and image processing applications, ARIX has an architecture that is expandable through use of additional mezzanine sites supporting TI’s TIM standard, as well as the IndustryPack standard. The ARIX architecture has an on-board topology of VPE-Virtual Processing Elements that can support up to the equivalent of one million reconfigurable gates. And several SBRCs can be linked together via external connectors, allowing the user to create a cluster of parallel processsing, reconfigurable computers. In addition, high-speed SBSRAM banks of 100-MHz of 32 x 128 Kwords is said to provide ample memory for the networked VPEs, as well as for the DSP. The firm says it’s positioning reconfigurable computing not as just a board assembled with a bunch of FPGAs, but rather as a complete standalone computer with operating software and development environments, system-level tools, and libraries.

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