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