REFERENCE DESIGNS

NVMe High-Speed Data Capture and Recorder

REFERENCE DESIGNS

NVMe High-Speed Data Capture and Recorder

The Data Capture and Recording Challenge

After FPGA pre-processing, there are many streaming data sources customers want to capture or record, but achieving at high speed (100 Gb/s) is challenging.

What is a Reference Design?

BittWare offers Reference Designs for users who have their own FPGA engineering team and application IP, but would benefit from having a proven application framework—the Reference Design. This allows customers to focus on their application-specific IP.

These Reference Designs use a small part of the FPGA, leaving room for customer IP like filtering, decimation, signal processing and more. Our customers have requirements of 40 Gb/s or greater and minutes to hours of recording time at line rate.

What do we mean by Data Capture and Data Recorder?

For Data Capture, sensor data passes through the FPGA and CPU to host DDR4 DRAM memory.

The capture depth is typically limited to a few seconds for high data rates. DDR4 DRAM is relatively expensive.

For direct Data Record, sensor data passes through the FPGA directly to the SSD NVMe FLASH via a Molex cable assembly.

The record depth can be many hours at high data rates using standard off-the-shelf SSDs.

What sensor inputs are possible?

BittWare’s Data Capture and direct Data Recorder reference designs are based on a network packet generator and capture design using the 250-SoC accelerator card. This is a dual 100GbE product, however BittWare has a rich portfolio of other FPGA cards allowing data ingress from other sensor sources. Examples include: digital I/O, multi-channel RF ADC and video. Please contact BittWare for details.

Design #1: PCIe Data Capture and Recorder

Overview

This approach uses the standard PCIe interface of a BittWare FPGA card for data capture to host memory, and record to FLASH NVMe SSDs at 100 Gb/s.

This reference design is included free with applicable BittWare hardware as described in the Deliverables. The majority of FPGA resources reserved for customer application IP. Customers can program their application using their preferred tool flow.

Benefits

  • Capture and record at 100 Gb/s
  • Reference Design IP Included Free with BittWare Hardware
  • Deployable in Short-depth 1U/2U Server Platforms

Deliverables (planned release July 2020)

  • BittWare XUP-P3R accelerator card;
    Compatible with most server platforms from leading vendors
  • FPGA bitstream and source code (conditions apply)​
  • Python3 library that controls the functions of the bitstream as well as launching application code​
  • C library that application code can use to process the data flowing into the host from the FPGA; among the application examples we provide is one that writes the data to SSD NVMe FLASH in PCAP format
  • Reference Design can be downloaded from the BittWare Developer Site

Extension to Design #1: Dual PCIe Data Capture

Overview

This is an extension of Design #1: using a second PCIe interface, we can achieve up to approximately 200 Gb/s to host memory. This is achieved by using BittWare’s on-board expansion ports to add a second PCIe connection to the one FPGA card. The second connection goes in an adjacent PCIe slot.

Customers can readily build this configuration through consultation with BittWare.

Benefits

  • Capture up to 200 Gb/s to Host Memory
  • Single FPGA accelerator card
  • Deployable in Short-depth 1U/2U Server Platforms

Design #2: NVMe Direct Data Recorder

Overview

The Data Recorder takes a different approach to Data Capture. The sensor data is streamed directly from the FPGA to the NVMe FLASH SSDs via a cable assembly that taps into the server mid-plane.

BittWare Recorder IP (subject to license), implemented in the FPGA, deals with NVMe access for the host application running on the CPU. This offloads significant processing burdens from the CPU and implements them efficiently in the FPGA. Customers can then record for many hours at high data rates. The CPU becomes supervisory in function, and therefore can be low cost, low power.

The NVMe drives are still exposed to the host application for optional read/write to the recorded data using standard NVMe drivers.

This reference design is included (conditions apply) with applicable BittWare hardware as described in the Deliverables. The majority of FPGA resources reserved for customer application IP. Customers can program their application using their preferred tool flow.

Benefits

  • Record up to 200 Gb/s directly to NVMe FLASH SSDs
  • Record sensor data for multiple hours
  • Use a single low-cost, low-power CPU
  • CPU read/write to SSDs using standard NVMe drivers
  • CPU read while recording sensor input
  • Deployable in Short-depth 1U/2U Server Platforms

Deliverables (planned release Q4 2020)

Hardware Platform Options

BittWare reference designs are initially supported on Xilinx-based products. Contact us to learn about support for Achronix- and Intel-based products.

Ready to Learn More?

Details on our NVMe High-Speed Data Capture and Recorder are available upon request. Get in touch with us to learn more!