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Proceedings Paper

UniBoard: generic hardware for radio astronomy signal processing
Author(s): J. E. Hargreaves
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Paper Abstract

UniBoard is a generic high-performance computing platform for radio astronomy, developed as a Joint Research Activity in the RadioNet FP7 Programme. The hardware comprises eight Altera Stratix IV Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) interconnected by a high speed transceiver mesh. Each FPGA is connected to two DDR3 memory modules and three external 10Gbps ports. In addition, a total of 128 low voltage differential input lines permit connection to external ADC cards. The DSP capability of the board exceeds 644E9 complex multiply-accumulate operations per second. The first production run of eight boards was distributed to partners in The Netherlands, France, Italy, UK, China and Korea in May 2011, with a further production runs completed in December 2011 and early 2012. The function of the board is determined by the firmware loaded into its FPGAs. Current applications include beamformers, correlators, digital receivers, RFI mitigation for pulsar astronomy, and pulsar gating and search machines The new UniBoard based correlator for the European VLBI network (EVN) uses an FX architecture with half the resources of the board devoted to station based processing: delay and phase correction and channelization, and half to the correlation function. A single UniBoard can process a 64MHz band from 32 stations, 2 polarizations, sampled at 8 bit. Adding more UniBoards can expand the total bandwidth of the correlator. The design is able to process both prerecorded and real time (eVLBI) data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8452, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 84522M (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925124
Show Author Affiliations
J. E. Hargreaves, Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8452:
Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
Wayne S. Holland, Editor(s)

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