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Friday, March 02, 2018

MicroTCA Chassis optimised for FPGAs

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

VadaTech has launched a 2U MicroTCA chassis that provides eight extended-size/full-size and/or mid-size AMC slots that can accept any AMC.1, AMC.2, AMC.3 and/or AMC.4 modules and is optimsed for FPGA modules. 

The VT882 provides TCLKA, TCLKB, TCLKC and TCLKD clock lines as well as FLCLKA to each slot in addition to the JTAG signals. It also contains capability for full redundancy by having a redundant MCH, Power Modules, as well as redundant Cooling Units for high availability. The option for a redundant/non-redundant clock is per MTCA specification.

To achieve this, the chassis has high-speed routing on 26 layers (40G capable) and high-speed MTCA connectors (12.5 GHz). Pairs of modules have ports 2-15 and 17-20 routed locally (not via a switch), making the chassis suitable for housing FPGA modules communicating over low-latency protocol such as Aurora. Ports 0 and 1 are routed to GbE switches as normal, supporting control plane resource management.

The chassis has a JTAG Switch Module (JSM) slot per MTCA specification. This JSM provides transparent communication between the front JTAG port and the selected AMC device. This can be used with the Ethernet Virtual Probe capabilities of VadaTech’s 3rd generation MCH, the UTC004. Virtual Probe services are available to provide JTAG via Ethernet for Xilinx FPGAs. 

This allows for standard development tools such as Xilinx iMPACT / ChipScope to treat the MCH/JSM combination as if it was a standard JTAG probe, removing the need to attach JTAG probes directly to each FPGA.

VadaTech

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