Product of the Week: WOLF Advanced Technology’s NVIDIA Orin-based 3U VPX SBC

June 07, 2022

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Product of the Week: WOLF Advanced Technology’s NVIDIA Orin-based 3U VPX SBC

High-performance computing is now a requirement in the aerospace and defense industry where capabilities like computer and machine vision, AI edge computing, and sensor data fusion are critical to mission success. The massive amount of data captured and processed in these use cases also means high-bandwidth interconnects are required, too.

If you’re looking to deploy this functionality on top of existing infrastructure, like so many in long-lifecycle industries are, you may be staring down the barrel of a massive electronics systems upgrade. Or, you take advantage of solutions like the VPX3U-ORIN-CX6-SBC from WOLF Advanced Technology.

The VPX3U-ORIN-CX6-SBC is a 3U module compliant to the ANSI/VITA 48 and 65 standards (VPX REDI, OpenVPX) that’s designed around the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin module. The onboard Orin module takes care of the HPEC part of the equation, delivering an overwhelming amount of processing power we’ll attempt to outline here:

  • Ampere GPU with 1792 CUDA cores delivers 3.4 TFLOPS of performance
  • 56 Gen3 Tensor cores deliver 200 TOPS of INT8 performance
  • 2.2 GHz, 64-bit octal-core NVIDIA Arm Cortex CPUs
  • 2x Deep Learning Accelerators for inferencing
  • 7-way VLIW Vision Accelerator engines
  • 2x HEVC (H.265) and AVC (H.264) Volta NVIDIA Encoders and 1x NVIDIA Decoder with up to 4K UHD resolution
  • Dedicated Programmable Audio processor

For video formats not supported by the Orin platform, the WOLF Frame Grabber Extreme (FGX) engine, built on Xilinx FPGA hardware, captures SDI video, converts it, and sends the output to the GPU for processing. The GPU then outputs into SDI and/or analog formats.

On the storage and memory side, all the horsepower listed above is backed by a TB of NVMe, 64 GB of eMMC 5.1 flash, and 32 GB of 256-bit low-power DDR5 memory capable of reads/writes at speeds of up to 205 GBps. And that’s just one dimension of the VPX3U-ORIN-CX6-SBC’s high-end bandwidth capabilities.

Aside from the Orin module, the WOLF Advanced Technology 3U VPX SBC also integrates NVIDIA’s ConnectX-6 SmartNIC that helps the module support 10/40/100 GBASE-KR4 and 10GBASE-KR across backplane-based deployments and can also be used for GPUDirect RDMA to take the number crunching to the next level. And thanks to its Mellanox roots, the ConnectX-6 also handles all the switching, so the Orin CPU doesn’t have to.

And all that interconnect is without even mentioning 1000 BASE-T support, 480 Mbps USB 2.0, and up to x8 PCIe Gen4 lanes. Other signals are brought out via I/O depicted in the diagram below.

Add that all up, and what you have is a seriously high-performance computer. But that’s just the half of it. Where the eyebrows start to raise is when you combine the discussed features in a configurable 60-100W power envelope and package it in WOLF’s advanced lightweight thermal management enclosure technology.

Eyes are wide open when we come full circle to the fact that this VITA-compliant module is based on a widespread aerospace and defense industry hardware standard and rated to 40G peak shock and 10G peak vibration over -40ºC to +85ºC operating temperatures. Not only that, but it’s aligned with The Open Group’s Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) that promotes the use and reuse of open electronics in C4ISR applications.

WOLF Advanced Technology's NVIDIA AGX Orin-based 3U VPX SBC in Action

SOSA alignment incorporates both hardware and low-level software components to help keep proprietary technologies from locking in aerospace and defense designs into any one vendor. Above those lower levels is where application developers, systems integrators, and prime contractors can set themselves apart.

For example, the JetPack SDK that comes standard with Jetson-based hardware provides all the tools needed to maximize the video processing and other compute of the AGX Orin – even for developers who aren’t accustomed to parallel programming or building applications that target GPUs. Version 5.0.1 of the JetPack SDK, for instance, includes support for the Ubuntu-based Jetson Linux (v34.1.1) and the CUDA 11 development environment, as well as AI and machine learning tools like the TensorRT high-performance deep learning runtime and CUDA Deep Neural Network (cuDNN) library. And that’s before even opening the lid on computer vision.

Aside from support for frameworks like OpenCV, OpenGL 4.6, and Vulkan 1.0, the JetPack SDK provides access to vision-specific tools. For example, a Multimedia API delivers low-level fram synchronicity for camera applications, while the Vision Programming Interface (VPI) software library is full of image processing and computer vision algorithms that run on GPUs, CPUs, or programmable vision accelerators.

And, support for the DeepStream SDK affords real-time intelligent video analytics (IVA)

Getting Started with WOLF Advanced Technology's NVIDIA AGX Orin-based 3U VPX SBC

Board support for the SBC includes an on-board IPMI controller for system management. Support for Windows, Linux, or ARM root complex is included.

To get started, or learn more about the WOLF Advanced Technology VPX3U-ORIN-CX6-SBC like hardware-verified secure boot, cryptography, or encrypted storage, head over to or check out the resources below.

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