Product of the Week: Extreme Engineering Solutions’ XPedite7870

June 20, 2022

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Product of the Week: Extreme Engineering Solutions’ XPedite7870

HPC applications obviously process large amounts of important data. But increasingly, that data needs to remain protected when it’s in transit or at rest.

This is the case in many extreme environment applications, which makes the requirements doc look like this:

  • Need: High performance, Government-class security, Rugged design
  • Want: Fast time to market
  • Don’t need: Cheap

The solution? Extreme Engineering Solutions’ (X-ES) XPedite7870 3U VPX-REDI module.

Complaint to the VITA 48 and 65 standards (VPX REDI, OpenVPX) and based on Intel® Xeon® D-2700 series (formerly Ice Lake-D) SoCs with as many as 20 cores, the 100 mm x 160 mm XPedite7870 contains all the components necessary for high-performance, secure applications processing at the extreme edge.

This starts with an integrated PolarFire™ FPGA from Microsemi® that can serve as a workload acceleration co-processor that offloads tasks like AI, vision, or security from the host CPU. Alternatively, the FPGA has four dedicated GPIO pins that provide direct access for users looking to deploy the XPedite7870 in a multiprocessor configuration.

To support the compute capabilities of the VPX-REDI SBC, 64 GB of DDR4 ECC SDRAM, 32 GB of onboard SLC NAND flash, 64 MB of NOR boot flash, and 64 kB of EEPROM are available to read-write and shuttle data quickly to and from the number-crunching cores.

A wide variety of connectivity options are also available for the purposes of data shuttling. These include two 40GBASE-KR4 and one 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet port, the former courtesy direct access to the Xeon-D 2700’s built-in Ethernet PHY and the latter courtesy a PCIe-to-GbE MAC PHY. Other interfaces and I/Os include ample PCIe Gen 2/3 interfaces, USB 2.0, and RS-232/422/485 that handles connections to the backplane and between onboard components.

A SPI interface links an onboard trusted platform module (TPM) with the XPedite7870 host. Coupled with air- and conduction cooling options and SKUs that have native extended temperature support (including the Xeon processor), it’s a one-stop shop for checking off all the requirements above.

The XPedite7870 in Action

In this week’s “in Action” section, we’ll look at all the action that happens before the XPedite7870 ever even makes it to the customer. Most of that is courtesy the X-ES SecureCOTS design methodology.

SecureCOTS focuses on delivering enhanced physical security to help protect IP and application data in critical applications from manipulation, copying, or reverse engineering. The design practices are applied when integrating all the components mentioned above.

To ensure products like the XPedite7870 can detect, record, resist, and respond to threats, X-ES engineers layer use case-specific security features into the design that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring, encrypting, and controlling sensitive data paths
  • Secure erase and declassification of on-board memory
  • Burying sensitive signals and removing access to test/debug interfaces
  • Encapsulating sensitive components
  • Environmental, diagnostic, and situational monitoring
  • The use of silicon-specific features like Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT) or NXP (formerly Freescale) Secure Boot
  • Integration of FPGAs and their enhanced security features
  • Trusted Platform Modules (TPM)

Other relevant security features of the XPedite7870, for example, include a system voltage monitor, power-on/reset control, and non-volatile write-protection controls.

As mentioned, some of the features listed above are more common than others. Interested parties are encouraged to contact X-ES for customization options related to security, as well as more information on special networking and I/O, environmental, power, and board configuration options.

Getting Started with Extreme Engineering Solutions’ XPedite7870

The XPedite7870 SBC provides software support for UEFI firmware, as well as board support packages (BSPs) for Wind River VxWorks and X-ES Enterprise Linux (XEL). Additionally, interested parties can contact X-ES on the availability of Green Hills INTEGRITY, QNX Neutrino, LynxOS, and Microsoft Windows BSPs and drivers.

X-ES also offers accessories for the device, such as:

  • XIt1098 (90030650) – 3U VPX Rear Transition Module with Dual 40 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, USB, and Serial
  • XPand1200 (90070530) – 3U VPX Conduction-Cooled Development Platform
  • XTend218 (90072500) – Debug Module/Cable with Serial/I2C/USB/JTAG/SPI and Power Supply Programming

You can find more information on the X-ES XPedite7870 product page or by checking out the resources below.