UniBoard I and II

UniBoard^2
UniBoard^2 is the successor of the first UniBoard project using the latest generation of FPGAs on the market. In total four Altera Arria10 FPGAs are used. These are FPGAs using a 20 nm technology. The total data rate the board can process is tremendous and exceeds the 3 Tbps, might all connections be used fully. In comparsion the total data rate of the Amsterdam Internet Exchange is 2 Tbps which could all be processed by one UniBoard^2. Also the total processing capacity is severe: 5 TMAC/s which can be achieved with about 40 personal computers. Each FPGA has access to two memory devices of each 16 GByte, resulting in a total memory capacity of 128 GByte.

The board is generic and can be used for various astronomical functions, like beamforming, filtering and correlations. However, it is not limited by these applications. Applications which require relative simple operations on massive amounts of data are potential users for this board.

The board was designed to be extended for the next generation of Altera devices, the Stratix10 which offer even more capacity. Furthermore an extension board has been developed to interface the FPGAs with Hybrid Memory Cubes, which are likely to replace DDR memory modules. More details can be found by the following link

 

Uniboard I
The UniBoard is a complex high processing board, built up with 14 layers. In total 8 Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are integrated in one board which have a processing capability of 2 TMAC/s (Tera Multiply and Accumulates per second), the same as 20 personal computers (built in the same year).
The amount of data processed by the board is maximal 160 Giga bit per second (Gbps), which is the same as constantly sending the information of four DVD's each second to and from the board.

The UniBoard system will be used in various applications, amongst them are a beamformer and correlator in APERTIF, a correlator for JIVE, digital receiver and pulsar binning machine. To increase the density of boards and to reduce the total power consumption of the board, an investigation has been done to use water cooling. The FPGA temperature becomes 20 degrees lower by using water cooling.

 

The board is equipped with standard interfaces and can be used as stand-alone board. However at ASTRON we integrate multiple boards together to build larger systems. The need of an application drives the number of boards integrated. The  backplane used to connect multiple boards together is developed specifically for an application.
This approach was chosen because the development time for a passive backplane is much lower than the UniBoard together is developed specifically for an application.

 

 

 

To increase the density of boards and to reduce the total power consumption of the board, an investigation has been done to use water cooling. The FPGA temperature becomes 20 degrees lower by using water cooling. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design: Kuenst.    Development: Dripl.    © 2021 ASTRON