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PCIe-enabled sub-system boards allow re-programmability

Posted: 30 Apr 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FPGA  sub-system board  PCIe  data networking 

CebaTech Inc. releases the CebaFlex series of re-programmable PCIe-enabled sub-system boards that enables OEM customers to rapidly deploy next-generation equipment, independent of the CPU technology lifecycle. The

Executing critical application protocols in FPGA-based hardware with a streamlined path to very low cost implementation for high-volume applications, CebaFlex offloads the CPU to free up CPU cycles, which then can be used for higher value-add application processing. This offload significantly improves the system-level performance-to-cost ratio. PCIe-enabled sub-system boards boost protocol processing performance in data networking and enterprise storage systems by up to 10x.

Its in-system upgrade capability enables the after-market addition of new software functionality to the system, boosting performance, and enabling OEM customers to continuously address emerging market opportunities with speed and agility.

CebaFlex addresses the missing link in the hardware realisation of storage and data networking protocol stacks. The transport and link-level framing protocols have already benefited greatly from their migration to hardware implementations. CebaFlex migrates the missing link—the data management layer—from slow and power-hungry CPU executed software to FPGA-based hardware, achieving an order of magnitude improvement in performance at a fraction of the cost of developing a custom chip—and with the added advantage of being reprogrammable.

The boards meet the tough reliability and environmental operating standards required by embedded systems equipment, and are used for both prototyping and product realisation. The PCIe interface enables plug-and-play connection to standard network and storage chassis.

The initial CebaFlex offering supports industry-standard data management functions such as GZIP compression, GUNZIP decompression and AES encryption algorithms, using the company's CebaRIP rapidly tunable intellectual property (IP) core library. CebaTech also implements custom protocols in CebaFlex sub-systems as a full turnkey solution.

CebaFlex leverages its ANSI C-to-hardware compiler technology to design and tune hardware implementations of both standard and custom protocols to meet the different performance, power and area trade-offs required by different applications. Using this technology, customers can have CebaTech compile and offload their ANSI C algorithms onto the hardware platform to produce a customised solution that meets their specific market needs.

The compiler technology's high level of automation also enables the fast implementation of engineering change orders, even in the late stages of the design. OEMs can bring the right solution to market quickly, modify the trade-offs in response to changing end-customer requirements, and even cost-reduce it rapidly with a seamless ASIC-like conversion where product volumes and market timing make such a conversion viable.

Customers can deliver next generation equipment, independent of CPU roadmap constraints. Overall, customers can respond to changing market needs much more quickly.

- Toni McConnel

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