Loughborough boards power British navy simulators

Engineers at GEC Marconi in Cheshire, England, needed high-performance single-board VME digital signal processors for a new sonar command operator trainer for a mine hunting simulation for the British Royal Navy called Sandown.

Jan 1st, 1998

Engineers at GEC Marconi in Cheshire, England, needed high-performance single-board VME digital signal processors for a new sonar command operator trainer for a mine hunting simulation for the British Royal Navy called Sandown.

They found their answer with the DBV42 and DBV44 boards and the MDC40-S2 and MDC-T1 TIM processor modules from Loughborough Sound Images in Leicestershire, England. These boards are based on the 320C4x floating-point DSP from Texas Instruments in Houston.

"The mine hunter trainer functions in a reliable high-fidelity simulation environment operations room that looks like the real thing," says Mike Ashton, program manager for the Sandown at GEC Marconi.

GEC engineers needed a single-board DSP able to process in a small amount of space, and differentiate between pings at short distances using high frequency at a high rate, Ashton says. "The Loughborough product met all those needs. We are going to continue to use their products for a similar sonar project with the Australian navy"

The DBV42 and DBV44 VME DSP boards use four TMS320C4x-based TIM-40 compatible module sites. They are scaleable to more than 6 billion operations per second peak processing capability. TIM-40 is an open Texas Instruments standard designed to simplify the integration of multiple TMS320C40s into various configurations using TIM modules and motherboards or TIM carriers.

The TMS320C40 is a 32 bit DSP that features a 40 nanosecond instruction cycle time and 275 million-operation-per-second execution rate with a 50 MHz clock. The DSP supports internal and external program and data memory in a 16-gigabyte address space. It also features a 128 word instruction cache, six 20-megabyte-per-second parallel communication ports, six-channel on-chip direct memory access controller, and two 32 bit timers. The 50 MHz TMS320C40 has a peak data throughput of 230 megabytes per second and a peak execution rate of 50 million floating point operations per second.

The VME interface on the system has a dedicated communications port from each module site. A maximum of 12 communication ports running at 20 megabytes per second are available at the front panel.

The MDC40-S2 and MDC-T1 have been designed to comply with the Texas Instruments TIM-40 module standard and can be used as a processing engine on compatible Loughborough carrier boards for application development or system integration.

The architecture of the MDC40-S2 works in single- processor and multiprocessing systems. Both modules are targeted for applications such as array processing, radar, sonar, and neural networks.

For the MDC40-S2 and MDC-T1, basic star, ring, and pipeline configurations can be connected to build a range of 2D or 3D networks and hypercubes. Another feature of the MDC40-S2 is its ability to run independently from a host by booting from the on-module ROM. - J.M.

For more information on the DBV42, DBV44, MDC40-S2, and MDC-T1boards, contact Loughborough Sound Images by phone at +44 (0)1509 634300, by fax at +44 (0)1509 634333, by mail at Loughborough Park, Ashby Road, Loughborough, LE11 3NE, Leicestershire, England, or on the World Wide Web at http://www. lsi-dsp.com.

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