Annapolis Micro Systems Integrates FireFly™ Optical System for Highest Density & Performance

Annapolis Micro Systems, a leading FPGA board and systems supplier, is now integrating Samtec’s FireFly™ Optical System in multiple high-performance COTS boards, for maximum signal density and speed over longer distances.

“The FireFly enables our FPGA boards to rapidly process huge volumes of data from an optical network,” said Noah Donaldson, Annapolis Micro Systems Chief Technology Officer. “With converters increasingly positioned close to the sensor, optical I/O is becoming more prevalent in multi-function EW, phased array radar, cybersecurity network processing, and high performance financial computing.”

“The Annapolis Micro Systems embedded computing portfolio maximizes FPGA bandwidth density with our optical FireFly™ Micro Flyover System™,” said Arlon Martin, Sr. Director of Marketing, Samtec Optical Group. “Our collaborative approach to system design enabled Annapolis as an early adopter of our new 28 Gbps per lane optical transceivers.”

FireFly connector shown unplugged from WILD FMC+ TO00 Mezzanine

Optical connectivity provides several advantages over traditional copper:

  • Performance
  • Size and weight
  • Signal integrity and security over longer distances
  • Scalability and upgradability

The rugged FireFly utilizes x4 bi-directional optical transceivers, with a data rate of up to 28 Gbps per channel. It includes two board-level interconnects: A micro high-speed edge card connector, and a positive latch connector for power and low speed control signal communications.

Currently, four Annapolis boards integrate FireFly:

WILD FMC+ TO00 employs three or six x4 bi-directional (4TX, 4RX) high speed serial (HSS) lanes at 28 Gbps each, for an impressive 672 Gbps of total capability.

2 WILDSTAR 6XB2 6U OpenVPX Boards with VITA 66 optical connections to Backplane

TO00 supports front panel or blind mate backplane optical connectivity via VITA 66, and can be paired with PCIe or VPX Baseboards supporting WFMC+ I/O sites, such as WILDSTAR PXUW, WILDSTAR 3XB0, WILDSTAR 3XB1, or WILDSTAR 6XB2, for up to 24 optical serial lanes per WFMC+ slot.

WILDSTAR 3XB1 and WILDSTAR 6XB2 also offer up to two integrated x4 FireFly optical transceivers without consuming any I/O sites. This allows for optical connectivity through front panel or VITA 66, in addition to other high bandwidth I/O such as ADC and DAC cards.

The breakthrough WILDSTAR 6XBU features a super-high-performance digitizer and processor in a single rugged 6U OpenVPX board. It is designed to handle full ADC input bandwidths.

These four rugged boards support industrial temperature ranges, using air, air-flow-through, or conduction cooling.

All boards supplement Annapolis’ WILD100™ EcoSystem. The EcoSystem is an interoperable portfolio of rugged high-performance OpenVPX and PCIe COTS boards and systems that are used for challenging data acquisition, digital signal processing, and data storage applications.