Instrumentation Gateways provide high-bandwidth data streaming between processors, storage and remote sensors, actuators, and other types of devices. The gateways enable Industrial Internet of Things capabilities in high-performance, real-time environments. Crossfield's instrumentation products incorporate Intelligent Platform Management to calibrate, monitor and control remote payloads as well as network time synchronization for synchronous data acquisition. Whether the instrumented system is a meter or kilometer in size, the data can be collected and analyzed with assurance that the sensor data is time correlated.

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56G FDR InfiniBand / 40G Ethernet Instrumentation Gateway

The 56G Instrumentation Gateway is Crossfield's first Instrumentation Gateway that provides a complete infrastructure for rapid implementation of demanding data acquisition, real-time simulation, process control and other applications that stream big data across networks. The gateway supports two high pin count FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) interfaces into a high-performance FPGA, supporting a variety of FMC module types. The FPGA provides resources for data capture or output, digital signal processing, and precision timing. Hardware implementations of IEEE 1588 v2 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) provide nanosecond level time synchronization between instrumentation gateways and other devices on the network. Furthermore, the gateway implements FPGADirectTM, a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) communications protocol that uses Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) transactions for low-latency, wire-speed data transfer between the FPGA memory and remote memories in high performance computing (HPC) systems.

FPGA Mezzanine Cards

Crossfield uses VITA 57.1 FMC and VITA 57.4 FMC+ adapters to interface instrumentation gateways to different sensors, actuators, and other types of devices and create "smart" devices in a high-speed network infrastructure.

The Optical FMC module provides a 10-lane communications link over a 24-fiber multi-mode fiber optic cable. The optical engines provide adjustable power levels to accommodate a range of cable lengths up to 100 m. The optical link is protocol agnostic and supports any SERDES-based protocol implemented in the FPGA.

The Digital Micromirror Display (DMD) FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) is a high-speed interface to DMD projectors and other scientific instrumentation. The adapter implements Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) mode for 6- or 8-bit gray scale images and single-bit mode for black & white images. The adapter operates at >10K fps in B&W mode.
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Real Time Operating System (RTOS)

Instrumentation Gateways feature a processor running an embedded Linux operating system using the Yocto Project or real-time operating system, such as FreeRTOS. The Preempt-RT patch is applied to the embedded Linux kernel to provide precision event scheduling for application and kernel processes. The processor can be standalone or part of new FPGA System-on-Chip (SoC) devices from Intel, Xilinx, or Microchip.
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Digital Signal Processing

Crossfield’s Instrumentation Gateways feature a high performance Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) fabric that can be used to synchronously capture or output real-time data through a variety of FMC interface or instrumentation modules. The FPGA fabric can also be used for real-time digital signal processing of data, for example digital filtering of GSPS ADC outputs or coordinate translation of image frames.

Crossfield provides a framework for development of real-time embedded instruments, including interfaces to two or three banks of DDR3-1800 SDRAM, precision timing, and the InfiniBand or Ethernet network. A network processor provides support for OFED and network drivers and precision time protocol.

Open Fabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED)

Crossfield’s development team ported the OFED drivers and libraries to embedded Linux in the Crossfield SDK for use with poky under the Yocto Project. Many of the open source network programming features for HPC systems are now available on embedded systems.

OFED provides a kernel bypass for RDMA READ and WRITE transactions, enabling the hardware to transfer data directly between kernel or user memory and the network and remote memory. Crossfield has implemented this capability for memory attached to the FPGA, enabling peer-to-peer memory transfers between FPGA memory and remote memories.

Crossfield is a Contributor Member of the NVM Express organization and has implemented NVMe technology in a VPX SSD and Instrumentation Gateway. The NVMe technical group is defining NVMe over Fabrics, including support for NVMe over InfiniBand and Ethernet networks.
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Precision Timing and Synchronization

Crossfield’s products provide physical (PHY) layer support for IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE). With a PHY-layer implementation of these protocols, instrumentation can be synchronized to nanosecond level precision across the local area network.

Precision timing allows multiple network sensors to capture data simultaneously or network transducers to output data in unison.

Networking Technologies

Crossfield’s Instrumentation Gateway products currently feature 1/10/40 Gbps Ethernet and 40/56 Gbps InfiniBand (QDR/FDR) network interfaces, with 100 Gbps Ethernet and InfiniBand (EDR) products on the horizon.

Our Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) enabled products implement FPGADirectTM. FPGADirect provides peer-to-peer data transfer, enabling wire-speed data streaming between high-performance sensors and transducers and real-time computer systems. The real-time computer system can range from a single desktop computer to a large parallel computing cluster.

* FPGADirect is a trademark of Mellanox Technologies
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Power over Ethernet (PoE+)

Some of Crossfield’s products can be powered through a copper network cable (Ethernet CAT6) using IEEE 802.3at Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+). For these products, a single CAT6 cable provides data communications, precision time synchronization and power to the network sensor or transducer.