Hosting the advanced 8-core version Intel Xeon D-1540 (Broadwell DE), the StarVX puts server-class silicon and highly ruggedised technologies in a compact 3U blade footprint. Offering 10 times greater performance than currently deployed ruggedised HPEC architectures, it also meets computer footprint reduction demands through operational computers consolidation via server virtualisation. Based on parallel virtual machine (VM) execution that can apply operational efficiencies provided by isolated workloads configured to dynamically share common resources, server virtualisation is now spreading outside IT rooms on rugged platforms such as StarVX. These capabilities enable a new class of compute-intensive applications such as data mining and cyber security, and also simplify military server consolidation easing logistics, installation and maintenance of complex systems.
“Offering a significant computing blade upgrade that can accommodate more than traditional HPEC applications, the StarVX paves the way for a new era of rugged parallel servers that can easily handle radar/sonar sensor processing as well as intensive parallel computing for cyber security in a single powerful platform. The StarVX can be used to solve hardware evolution needs such as CPU count, memory, form factor and I/O availability via virtualisation from one architecture design,” said Vincent Chuffart, Product Portfolio Manager for Kontron. “Prepared for cloud computing, the StarVX offers the combined performance of the Intel Xeon-D with OpenStack, the open source cloud software. This highly versatile foundation allows developers to quickly and cost-effectively build multiple systems and manage diverse computing resources while also leveraging the benefits of virtualisation technologies.”
By supplying the required I/O bandwidth to algorithms mapped onto the computing architecture, the StarVX is able to provide the fast backplane performance demanded by today’s DSP-based applications in a much smaller footprint. Kontron designed the StarVX to be completely application-ready by fully testing the backplane and the processor blades across all mission profiles and integrated the necessary software that permits developers to more easily add their particular application technologies. Kontron’s StarVX computing blades support extreme computing payloads while balancing both CPU power and I/O bandwidth for higher reliability. Each blade is connected to two 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and high bandwidth PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 through the system backplane, while the processor uses high speed DDR4 memory to meet increased sensor data processing needs.. Employing Kontron’s VXFabric API, which provides a TCP/IP protocol over the PCI Express infrastructure towards the application, StarVX helps accelerate the design process and allows high-speed socket-based communication between blades by using multiple switched fabric interconnects within the backplane.
Ruggedised for harsh environments, the OpenVPX-based air and conduction cooled StarVX offers extended operating temperature operation and is shock, vibration, humidity and altitude tested. It is also optimised for reduced size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) requirements and offers central health and power management capabilities. Adding design flexibility and offering more capabilities within the 3U footprint, the StarVX offers a 24 port 10Gigabit Ethernet switch as well as a PCIe switch. Other options on each computing blade include a M.2 interface that can be used for storage or for integration of customised personality modules, an XMC slot and 2-D graphics with the front-I/O selectable DVI/HDMI connection.