Modular & Flexible
The Cobra High Speed Recorder is a unique solution for high speed data recording and playback. The system utilizes the PXI Express architecture to provide a modular, flexible solution that can be customized to nearly any requirement. The main recording engine, Cobra, is a PXIe board with high speed RAM and a high performance Xilinx FPGA. This board manages the data movement to and from storage devices and also provides optical fiber channels for high speed data input or output. The Cobra board can be used alone or in concert with additional Cobra boards to reach data streaming performance of 20 GB/s (160 Gbps).
A typical system configuration will include an Intel processor based controller, one or more Cobra boards, and one or more SSD based storage boards. The PXI Express backplane allows numerous configurations and combinations of storage and recorder boards to match nearly any requirement. Extended systems can also employ an additional chassis to provide additional storage capacity if desired.
Peer-to-Peer PCI Express
Conduant’s StreamStor® architecture provides the capability to move data on the PCI Express fabric using Peer-to-Peer techniques. This allows direct hardware data streaming from A/D or other PCI Express sources to or from the data storage without being impaired by system bottlenecks. The system can also accept data from multiple PCI Express sources simultaneously.
The Cobra High Speed Recorder can operate independently from a host computer with command/control performed over a network connection. Control can also be automated from a software application using the StreamStor® software API on a network connected computer. A cabled PCI Express option provides connectivity to a host computer for command/control and/or high-speed data access. The cabled PCI Express option provides a 64 Gbps link that can be optionally extended to support long distance links using a PCI Express fiber optic cable.
Solid State Storage
The standard storage devices used in the Cobra High Speed Recorder system are M.2 NVMe PCI Express solid state drives. These devices are installed with up to 4 per PXI Express slot using the DM-4M.2 Storage Unit. These drives are available in capacities up to 4 TB each, with even higher capacities expected in the future. The use of solid state drives provides consistent performance even with high levels of shock and vibration. Current standard configurations support up to 128 TB of storage in a 4U 22″ deep chassis. Check with your Conduant sales representative for the latest available storage offerings compatible with the Cobra system.
High Speed Serial (Optical)
The Xilinx FPGA on the Cobra board optionally includes up to 24 channels (48 fibers) of high speed optical and can be configured to support many different high speed serial protocols. The protocols possible over these interfaces include ODI (Optical Data Interface), Interlaken, Serial FPDP, and Aurora. Other interfaces can be added according to customer requirements.
The optical interfaces can also be used to extend the recorder performance. For example, an ODI recorder is capable of 160 Gbps using 4 recorders and a 12 x 14.1 Gbps interface. The optical interface provides a high speed data path that is daisy chained to each recorder so that the speed capability is aggregated across the cooperating recorders.
The 24 optical fibers can be tailored to customer requirements by bonding channels to create higher speed channels or used independently to record large numbers of slower channels. The Xilinx FPGA also allows Conduant the flexibility to customize an implementation for a particular protocol.
The Cobra hardware is connected to the PXI Express backplane instrumentation signals and also has front panel signal connectors. These signal sources can be adapted to customer requirements to provide unique capabilities required for a customer application—triggers, event marking, etc.
The included software development kit (SDK) includes support for .NET development environments. This includes languages such as C#, Visual Basic, and C++ CLI. The SDK also includes a complete “C” based interface to facilitate usage of nearly any programming language. This includes programming environments such as LabVIEW and MATLAB.
The SDK includes support for features such as wrap mode (circular buffer) for very long duration recording, playback looping, and multiple recording (file) management. Additional features are added regularly and the software can be customized as needed.
The Conduant HSS-8324 Optical FPGA board provides the user with a hardware platform that is able to sustain full-duplex high-bandwidth transfers through its 8-lane Gen3 PXI Express (PXIe) interface and its 24-lane optical interface. The PXIe interface provides a theoretical maximum throughput of 8GB/s (simultaneous in and out).
The board provides both 8GB of high-speed DDR3 SDRAM and 8MB of QDR II+ SRAM. At the center of the design is a Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale (XCKU095-FFVB1760-2-E) FPGA which interconnects all ports and other devices while supplying the additional resources that are available within the FPGA. Other models of Kintex or Virtex Ultrascale FPGAs may be available; check with your Conduant sales representative.
With up to 48 optical fibers available, the board can be used for numerous applications that require high speed data connectivity. Each lane of optical fiber (transmit or receive) can operate independently. There are also dual Interlaken cores available in the FPGA which can be used to create dual 150 Gbps Interlaken connections (12 x 12.5 Gbps). Other optical protocols (i.e. Serial FPDP, Aurora, etc.) can also be used and a copper cabling option is available.
At power-on, the Kintex Ultrascale FPGA is quickly configured with the user program by using the SPI x4 serial flash memory device. This provides the fast wake-up required for PCI Express. The user content can be encrypted using a key that is either permanently programmed in a non-volatile manner into the FPGA (eFUSE) or can be preserved in a volatile manner so long as the on-board battery is not removed. This feature makes this product particularly attractive for applications in which protecting the FPGA intellectual property from cloning or reverse engineering is important.
The board includes a microcontroller for power management and an on-board I2C interface connecting the uC, FPGA, and optical transceivers.
For users who need more FPGA resources than are available in the XCKU095-FFVB1760-2-E, the pinout has been chosen to support migration to other, pin-compatible, Virtex/Kintex Ultrascale components. These variations can be provided by request.