Embedded Systems Design, Inc. (ESD) (Elkridge, MD) has released the StreamBlade™ 5600, a 3U desktop or rack-mount FPGA-based processing platform. The standalone real-time streaming I/O processing system utilizes a combination of FPGA, embedded, and general purpose processing nodes. The platform is well-suited to real-time applications including streaming data (voice, video, and image), telecom/ datacom, symbol-to-bit conversion, algorithm acceleration, data formatting, pattern generation/recognition, and test instrumentation.

The StreamBlade 5600 has selectable I/O modules providing signal conditioning and translation for LVDS, RS-422, ECL, T1/E1, T3/E3, and Gigabit Ethernet. All I/O signals are converted to/from FPGA pin compatible voltage levels. The collection of internal reference clocks and programmable PLL clock generators provide the necessary resolution for accurate FPGA-based transmit clocking. A touchscreen interface and 10/100 Ethernet is available on the 3U model for configuration and control. There is also a 1U model that has the 10/100 Ethernet for configuration and control but no touch screen.

The device supports four independent 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, two for each Xilinx Virtex-4 FX60 FPGA. Each FX60 FPGA has two 8MB banks of ZBT SRAM and two 128MB banks of DDR2 SDRAM. The StreamBlade 5600 has four Xilinx Spartan-3A FPGAs with access to the configured I/O. The platform general-purpose processor runs a generic Linux 2.6 distribution.

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This article first appeared in the July, 2008 issue of Embedded Technology Magazine.

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