National Research Foundation South Africa

The SKARAB is an extremely scalable, energy-efficient 1U 19” rack mount network-attached FPGA computing platform. The heart of the platform is a motherboard featuring a Xilinx Virtex 7 (XC7VX690T-2-FFG1927) FPGA that provides unparalleled I/O bandwidth (1.28 Tera-bits per second total bandwidth) to four high-performance mezzanine sites. The FPGA features dedicated supervisory and diagnostic interfaces (1 Gb Ethernet and USB), allowing highly scalable platform management (large scale cluster reconfiguration and health/status monitoring). An advanced reconfiguration interface allows sub-second on-the-fly reconfiguration of the Virtex 7 FPGA over 1Gb Ethernet, enabling compute clusters to rapidly change function with minimal down-time. Four symmetrical mezzanine sites provide flexibility in optimal balancing of digital or analog I/O and local (cache) memories: A 4 x 40 Gb Ethernet mezzanine option supports high bandwidth, low latency Ethernet interfaces directly from the FPGA. A high-performance memory mezzanine option featuring next-generation Micron Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) technology, provides extremely high bandwidth, high capacity local cache memory. A four-channel, 14 bit, 3 GSPS ADC mezzanine with built-in digital down-conversion, capable of digitizing up to 1.5 GHz of bandwidth positioned from near-DC to 3.2 GHz A 5th COM Express-compatible mezzanine site supports high-performance management processor sub-system (e.g. 4-core Intel Atom/NVidia Tegra K1.) A rich board support package is available to allow users to take full advantage of the platform’s features and allow rapid customization to a specific application.

Opportunity type

Technology Readiness Level