Curtiss-Wright Debuts Highest Performing 6U FPGA Card with Trio of Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGAs

July 2, 2013

ASHBURN, VA – June 19, 2013Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, a business group of Curtiss-Wright Controls, has announced the industry’s highest performing COTS 6U FPGA engine, the new CHAMP-FX4. This rugged, high-performance OpenVPX™ (VITA 65) board is the industry’s first COTS 6U FPGA engine to feature triple on-board Xilinx® Virtex®-7 devices in a single chassis slot.

The CHAMP-FX4 delivers 50-100% superior bandwidth compared to previous generations of 6U FPGA offerings. The board’s unprecedented processing throughput is rated at >100 GB/s for both memory bandwidth and backplane I/O bandwidth.


The CHAMP-FX4 board is Curtiss-Wright’s 4th generation FPGA product, and leverages the design expertise derived from previous generations of CHAMP family FPGA modules. The new board is designed to speed and simplify the integration of high performance FPGA processing for demanding applications such as Radar Processing, Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), ISR, Image Processing, Network Processing and Electronic Warfare (EW). It is ideal for use in C4ISR platforms such as Digital Beam Formers, Digital Receivers, and Radar Processors deployed in airborne, ground and base station military environments.

“Since the introduction of our first 6U FPGA card in 2005, Curtiss-Wright has continually maintained its leadership in the development of rugged FPGA-based computing products,” said Lynn Bamford, senior vice president and general manager of Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions.  “The CHAMP-FX4 builds upon the new CHAMP-WB, which we introduced earlier this year and provides the superior bandwidth and reconfigurable processing our customers demand for front-end sensor processing.”

The Triple FPGA Engine

The CHAMP-FX4 is the rugged COTS market’s first 6U VPX board to feature three (3) Xilinx® Virtex®-7 FPGAs in an FFG1761 package, one of the largest FPGAs in the Virtex-7 family. The CHAMP-FX4 uses the -2 speed grade version of the FPGA to provide maximum performance over the full industrial temperature range. Two of the CHAMP-FX4’s three Virtex-7 FPGAs serve as “I/O” FPGAs and are connected to FMC (VITA 57) mezzanine sites as well as to the backplane SERDES. The third Virtex-7device is the board’s “Aggregator” FPGA and is connected to the Backplane Expansion Plane.

The CHAMP-FX4 is also the first 6U VPX product to support the new Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC from Xilinx which includes an embedded dual-core ARM® Cortex™ A9 processor.  By combining the Xilinx 28nm programmable logic with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processing system into a single device, the Zynq device is able to provide an efficient processor footprint, freeing more of the board’s real estate for FPGA related processing.

“The Virtex-7 FPGA family offers system designers the performance levels needed to handle the toughest real-time signal processing tasks due to its advanced DSP, Memory and routing resources,” said Raj Seelam, Director, Solutions Marketing at Xilinx. “Curtiss-Wright Controls' CHAMP-FX4 products combine these capabilities with industry standard FMC sites, allowing customers to optimize their FPGA-based applications with the performance and I/O choices they need.”

About the CHAMP-FX4

The new CHAMP-FX4 is the flagship 6U product in Curtiss-Wright’s industry-leading family of user-programmable Virtex-7 FPGA-based computing products. These boards are designed to meet the needs of challenging embedded high-performance digital signal and image processing applications. 

The CHAMP-FX4 combines the dense processing resources of its three large Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGAs with over 12 GB of memory resources on a single rugged 6U OpenVPX™ module.

I/O Flexibility

The CHAMP-FX4 complements its unprecedented processing capability with 100 GB/s of backplane I/O bandwidth directly connected to the FPGAs. The board supports Gen2 Serial RapidIO® (SRIO) to provide standards-based connectivity to general-purpose processing boards such as Curtiss-Wright’s VPX6-1957 single board computer (SBC) and CHAMP-AV8 DSP engine. A variant of the CHAMP-FX4 is also available, without the SRIO switch to provide direct FPGA support of alternate fabrics, for use with our recently introduced CHAMP-AV9 4th generation Intel® Core® i7 board. 

To ease system expansion, the board provides two (2) FMC sites. This combination of enormous processing density and I/O capacity and flexibility make the CHAMP-FX4 an ideal choice for many commercial or rugged embedded applications including radar, signal intelligence, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms.

Using the CHAMP-FX4 with Curtiss-Wright’s Signal Acquisition FMC cards, such as the FMC-516/FMC-518, provides system integrators with a complete rugged Digital Receiver solution. These high speed, low-power, rugged mezzanine cards enable the selection of alternate front ends. The board’s FMC sites have also been enhanced to support the next generation of serial or JESD204B FMC cards, providing a configuration option to support up to eight (8) lanes of SERDES connectivity to each site.

The CHAMP-FX4’s rich assortment of rear panel I/O and memory includes an SRIO-based switching fabric, 16 high-speed serial links per FPGA, and 20 pairs of LVDS links to the backplane that can be used to support high-speed parallel interface such as Camera Link®.  With support for data bandwidth rated up to 10.3 Gb/s via its high-speed serial links, the CHAMP-FX4 delivers levels of performance previously unavailable.

CHAMP-FX4 Performance Features:

  • OpenVPX™ (VITA 65) profile MOD6-PAY-4FIQ2U2T-12.2.1-1, VPX REDI (VITA 48 option)
  • Three user-programmable Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGAs (585T or X690T), each with:
    • 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM in two 64-bit banks
    • 36 MB QDRII+ SRAM in two 36-bit banks (path to 72 MB)
    • Three (3) or four (4) 10.3 GHz 4-lane serial links to the backplane
    • FMC connection with 80 differential signal pairs or 4/8 serial links to each site to support JESD204B or serial FMCs
    • Each FPGA can be configured via Local attached flash, via Selectmap from Processor, or via PCIe
    • Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC with Dual ARM Cortex A9 processor
    • 1 GB SDRAM
    • 256 MB Flash
    • One Gigabit Base-T Ethernet links to the backplane P4 connector or front panel
    • One Gigabit Base-X Ethernet links to the backplane P4 connector
    • One RS-232 links to the backplane or front panel
    • On-board Gen3 PCIe switch
    • Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
    • Two (2) Mezzanine sites with support for FMC
    • Onboard SRIO Gen2 switch
    • Thermal sensors for monitoring board temperatures
    • Sensors for monitoring board power consumption
    • Support for ChipScope™ Pro and JTAG processor debug interfaces
    • Multi-board synchronous clock
    • Continuum IPC inter-processor communications middleware available 
  • Backplane I2C/IPMI control for power on/off card and sensor information.
  • Common Backplane clocks  to all FPGAs
  • Multi-board synchronous clock
  • Ruggedization levels:
    • Level 0 (Commercial)
    • Air-cooled level 100
    • Conduction-cooled level 200

Software/FPGA IP Support

Software support for the CHAMP-FX4 includes Curtiss-Wright’s FXTools™ BSP and FPGA design kit which includes highly-optimized IP Blocks, development environment, reference designs, scriptable simulation test benches and software libraries. Operating environments supported include VxWorks™ and Linux.

A Complete System Offering

The CHAMP-FX4 is the newest addition to Curtiss-Wright’s HPEC (High Performance Embedded Computing) product family and complements Curtiss-Wright’s wide range of Intel® and Power® Architecture-based VME and VPX SBCs, DSP engines and GP-GPU engines, such as the CHAMP-WB-DRFM, VPX6-1957, and the recently announced CHAMP-AV9, as well as Curtiss-Wright’s broad range of signal processing I/O FMC mezzanine products including the FMC-516/518. Combining these products with Curtiss-Wright’s switch and backplane products enables system designers to quickly and easily develop interoperable highly scalable, high performance systems.


Rugged Build Options

The CHAMP-FX4 is offered with a wide range of ruggedization configurations, including commercial, air-cooled rugged and conduction-cooled. Contact Curtiss-Wright for details.


Early access boards are scheduled to ship in October 2013. For availability and pricing information, please contact the factory. 

Click here for more information on the CHAMP-FX4.

Sales & Editorial Contacts

For additional information on Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, please visit:

For editorial information regarding products or services, contact John Wranovics, public relations director, Curtiss-Wright Controls, Tel: (925) 640-6402; email: [email protected].


Sales inquiries: Please forward all Sales and reader service inquiries to Jerri-Lynne Charbonneau,

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, Tel: (613) 254-5112; Fax: (613) 599-7777; e-mail: [email protected].


About Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) is a long established technology leader in the development of rugged electronic modules and systems for defense applications. CWCDS serves as a technology and integration partner to its customers, providing a full range of advanced, highly engineered solutions from modular open systems approaches to fully custom optimized solutions. Our unmatched capabilities and product breadth span from industry standard based COTS modules to complete electronic subsystems. The company’s modules and systems are currently deployed in a wide range of demanding defense & aerospace applications including C4ISR systems, unmanned subsystems, mission computing, fire control, turret stabilization, and recording & storage solutions. Additionally, the company’s broad engineering capabilities combine systems, software, electrical, and mechanical design expertise




with comprehensive program management and a broad range of life-cycle support services. For more information visit


About Curtiss-Wright Controls, Inc.

Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Curtiss-Wright Controls is the Controls segment of Curtiss-Wright Corporation and a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced technologies for niche actuation and drive applications, integrated sensors and controls, and electronic subsystems internationally for the aerospace, defense and industrial markets.  For more information, visit




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