PCI Express is a ubiquitous plug-in card format found in desktop and rackmount PCs. PCIe plug-in cards are easily added to a PC for application development and creation of small-scale test systems. Each chassis combines a multi-core Intel CPU running Windows/Linux with a motherboard providing five PCI Express connections to each payload slot (1, 4 or 8-lane), capable of sustained 3400 MB/s data flow. PCs are common in workplaces throughout the world due to their popularity low cost and application software, drivers and Windows/Linux operating-systems.
Illustration 3: Hyperlinked list of PCIe I/O cards with user-programmable Xilinx FPGAs for real-time digital signal processingHowever, reference clock and trigger signals are not available on the motherboard, complicating the creation of synchronous-sample systems such as phased array or beam-steering systems, software defined radios and surveillance/ communications systems which typically require wide channel counts and high inter-module bandwidth. However, Innovative's X3-Timing and Atropos products support distribution of clock and trigger signals to multiple PCIe cards in multiple chassis, bypassing this limitation.
Innovative's PCIe cards differ from conventional I/O cards from other vendors since each provides a user-programmable FPGA capable of off-loading computationally-intensive signal processing tasks from the PCIe host CPU. Each of the XMC modules hyperlinked on Illustration 3 may be mated with Innovative's 80259, 80173 or 80172 PCIe-XMC adapter to create a standard PCIe plug-in I/O card with an Xilinx FPGA whose functionality can be customized to meet application-specific real-time signal processing requirements. Additionally, these PCIe cards support direct inter-board communication via dedicated, high-speed serial connectors. This provides low-latency side-band communications directly between modules, independent of the motherboard's PCIe communications channel. This is an essential capability for beam steering and coprocessing applications unique to Innovative products.
Illustration 1: Rackmount and desktop PCI Express chassis support 4 to 9 plug-in cards and an Intel CPU running Windows or Linux
Illustration 2: XMC to PCIe Adapter Board (8-lane)
Adapts PCI Express XMC to Desktop with P16 High Speed Com Ports & JN4 Digital IO