OpenVPX - An Introduction

The VPX Standard, ANSI/VITA 46.0-2007, is an extension of the VME standard. VPX utilizes a switched fabric backplane and uses high-speed capable connectors. This allows systems to run serial protocols, such as PCI Express, as their backplane communications medium. Open VPX, ANSI/VITA 65-2010, furthers interoperability of different VPX OEM hardware by defining standardized communication lanes and backplane configurations. All Alpha Data hardware is compliant to multiple OpenVPX configurations.

OpenVPX PCIe Backplane Configuration:

Similar to PCIe architecture of modern commercial motherboards, VPX uses a switched PCIe architecture.

Ethernet Control Interface:

OpenVPX supports two 1000Base-BX Ethernet backplane interfaces per VPX slot. While these are not well suited for large data transfers, it is a low pin count method of controlling many system modules.

Mass Storage Option:

OpenVPX also defines two optional SATA lanes to each VPX module. Alpha Data ADA-VPX3 and ADC-VPX3 product lines support two mSATA devices compliant to this interface. These Alpha Data products can save a significant amount of system space by giving users the ability to perform intensive FPGA based processing in the same slot as two massive solid state storage devices.

Mechanical VPX System Drawing

Mechanical Drawing of System Backplane

Mechanical Drawing of VPX System Backplane
Exploded view of VPX FPGA Board with FMC
Exploded view of XMC FPGA module and Carrier
Exploded VPX FPGA Board and FMC Module
Assembled XMC board on VPX Carrier

All images courtesy of WaveTherm

General Purpose IO:

Each Alpha Data VPX board utilizes the GPIO allocated in the VPX specification. This provides 24 signals which can be driven single ended or differential on P2. Additional GPIO is available in the user defined regions of P1.

High Speed IO:

The VPX backplane connector supports signaling speeds in excess of 10Gbps. Alpha Data supports the maximum number of high speed IO lanes available. The Data Plane and Expansion planes of P1 are fully connected, along with 10 lanes (bidirectional) of data to P2. FPGA technology enables the user to choose any signaling standard imaginable like, 1000Base-X, XAUI, SRIO, and proprietary protocols.

Modular Front Panel IO:

One of the most attractive features of Alpha Data FPGA processing cards is their extensive usage of modular front IO. Alpha Data ADM-VPX3 products support the industry standard FMC front IO adapters, while the ADA-VPX3 cards support Alpha Data XRM modular interface boards. XRMs provide connectivity to video data feeds, analog RF inputs, serial communication, and GPIO. Where there is a gap in our product catalog, customer solutions can be quickly delivered to meet any customer needs. FMCs are quickly gaining popularity across the industry. With 100s available on the market today, almost any applications can be accomplished with pre-existing hardware.

Cooling Options:

VPX supports a number of cooling options to meet all customer needs. Air cooled chassis and modules are excellent for lab and development environments. While conduction cooling provides thermal relief in dusty or high altitude environments.

Conduction Cooled

Assembled Conduction Cooled VPX board

Images courtesy of WaveTherm

Air Cooled

Assembled Air Cooled VPX board

Images courtesy of WaveTherm

Rear Transition Modules:

Defined in ANSI/VITA 46.10, RTMs are used to break out all relevant signals during test and development. Alpha Data RTMs provide access to ALL signals on the VPX backplane. This includes an industry standard cabled PCIe receptacle which enables customers to develop applications using a standard desktop PC. This guarantees minimal risk during system integration because the Alpha Data hardware used in development and deployment is identical. While Alpha Data standard RTM modules are not suitable for deployment environments, they can be quickly and easily modified and ruggedized to meet customer needs with any desired connector configuration.


VPX - Alpha Data Products

The New ADM-VPX3-7V2 FPGA platform

The ADM-VPX3-7V1. A Virtex-7 OpenVPX FPGA Board

Alpha Data has developed a range of VPX 3U FPGA Boards and a VPX Carrier card so that existing XMC FPGA boards can be integrated into VPX systems.

Board FPGA Family XC7V2000 Support IO Interface Std Extra Functions
ADM-VPX3-7V2 Virtex-7 YES High Density FMC Interface .
ADA-VPX3-7V1 Virtex-7 No XRM Interface Dual mSata Slots
ADA-VPX3-7K1 Kintex-7 N/A XRM Interface Dual mSata Slots
ADA-VPX3-6T1 Virtex-6 N/A XRM Interface Dual mSata Slots

Contact Sales at Alpha Data for further information.

©2020 Alpha Data Parallel Systems - All rights reserved