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APERTIF-UniBoard backplane carries a terabit per second

Submitter: Daniel van der Schuur
Description: The backplane for the APERTIF beamformer arrived just before Christmas. After fitting the receiver boards (ADUs) that belong in the rows of empty slots visible in the picture, the backplane was stress-tested by occupying all four UniBoard-slots.

Per UniBoard, each of the four backplane-side FPGA chips sent data to its corresponding backplane-side FPGAs of the other three UniBoards. With four FPGAs per UniBoard transmitting at 60Gb/s each, the backplane carried 1Tb/s for 24 hours, with zero bit-errors (the eye-diagram was obtained from one of the 352mm long backplane traces). For comparison, the BlueGene/P-based LOFAR CEP receives about 0.2Tb/s of LOFAR data, so 1Tb/s is quite impressive for this cubic half-metre setup.
Copyright: Image: ASTRON
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