Rapid I/O: The XMC mezzanine cards have high bandwidth with memory for buffers.
The RapidIO interface is continuing to gain support, providing high-speed I/O for demanding applications. Switch fabric mezzanine cards from Mercury Computer Systems Inc. offer RapidIO interface support, providing bandwidth and memory needed for high-speed signal and image processing applications.
A growing number of systems are using Serial RapidIO to link multiple boxes into a single, cohesive system that communicates over fiber-optic links. The Mercury modules bring switch fabric interconnects to the existing PCI bus interface, supporting high-speed differential signals for fabric communication.
Mercury's XMC family consists of the Sensor I/O card, which provides a direct interface into a RapidIO switch fabric for sensor input. A pair of memory daughtercards buffer the data streams. These XMC modules augment a communication board that is already being used in multi-chassis RapidIO systems.
The Sensor I/O XMC daughtercard enables low-latency processing of data streaming input directly from sensors. It implements the Serial Front Panel Data Port protocol, offering two full-duplex channels that run at 2.5 Gbit/sec over fiber-optic cables. Each channel can be programmed for data distribution without host intervention, freeing the CPU for other tasks. The interface can sense input data stream signals that indicate sensor mode changes, routing data appropriately to different processors or endpoints on the RapidIO fabric.
The memory cards house either 2 or 4 Gbytes of DDR, offering a large input or output buffer to optimize data streaming. The 266 MHz DDR memory provides full-duplex data rates up to 622 Mbyte/sec in Mercury's processing systems.
The RapidIO interface includes a DMA engine for broadcast, command chaining, and corner turning. Pricing for the multi-chassis Serial RapidIO systems, which are shipping now, starts at $14,500 for the RapidIO XMC cards.
Mercury Computer Systems