A Cyberinfrastructure platform to meet the needs of data intensive radio astronomy on route to the SKA
Introduction to PowerMX:
PowerMX consists of a series of layered specifications defining motherboard and mezzanine card form factors, connector pinouts, power supply requirements, and control and monitor requirements. PowerMX provides for high SERDES I/O count and performance using a scalable motherboard/mezzanine card approach. Packaging and deployment options (e.g. server boxes, blades/backplanes, customized packaging) are not defined by PowerMX specifications and are application dependent. Refer to PMX.1 section 1. for scope and use cases.
Specification layers are numbered and defined as follows:
PMX.1 -- Base Specification: the foundational hardware PowerMX specification, also laying down principles for other layers, including supervisory and application control and monitor as well as establishing requirements for quality and reliability reporting. PMX.1.n -- Any number of additional hardware specifications defining options that providers may wish to design to. In some cases these augment PMX.1 definitions; in other cases these replace specific PMX.1 and/or PMX.1.m clauses.
PMX.2 -- Foundational Supervisory Monitor and Control (SMC) specifications. PMX.2.n -- additional specifications augmenting PMX.2.
PMX.3 -- Foundational Application Monitor and Control (AMC) specifications. PMX.3.n -- additional specifications augmenting PMX.3.
PMX.4 -- Foundational application firmware specification. Refer to PMX.1 section 1. clause 5.
PMX.5 -- Foundational application specification. Refer to PMX.1 section 1. clause 6.
PowerMX specifications are in the process of being built and will evolve with time and technology, always ensuring with each layer and specification that it is clear what the scope, applicability, and impact is to ensure compatibility with products built to the specifications. The ultimate goal of PowerMX is to provide for plug-and-play compatibility at all layers between products built to the specifications.
This site contains PowerMX specifications, links to product providers, and other publicly available information. This site is managed by the PowerMX Working Group, a group established by the National Research Council of Canada. All specifications and content on this web site may be freely accessed, downloaded, and used. See the "Legal Information" section of each specification for specific disclaimers and permissions.
PowerMX is a registered prohibited mark, file no. 922884, for use and adoption in Canada under section 9 of the Trade-Mark Act of Canada.
If you have any links or files regarding PowerMX products or models, email them to email@example.com and they will be considered for posting on this site. Anything posted on this site is public.
PMX.1.1 Motherboard Mesh Specification, Preliminary (Draft), 2014-10-15 (defines alternate PMXM-to-PMXM mesh connectivity)
PMX.2 SMC Specification Preliminary (Release) 2016-03-23 (Updated 2016-03-23)
NRC advises that the use of supplementary files in this section is completely voluntary and NRC makes no claim as to accuracy or suitability for any application. Use at your own risk.
List of Audited Providers:
Products and Auxiliary Components:
NRC advises that the use of components, information, and files in this section is completely voluntary and NRC makes no claim as to accuracy or suitability for any application. Use files and acquire components from 3rd-party suppliers completely at your own risk.
Components and Tooling:
PMXM puller/extractor tool drawing (the rods need to be 2-3 mm longer and the thumb-nut (itm 9) much bigger.) A better tool with extraction as well as insertion capability can be ordered from Imagination Machine Works
NEW!!! Standardized, monolithic, PMXM heat sinks available from Radian Heatsinks:
Packaging and Enclosures:
NEW: INITIAL TESTING RESULTS, PICS OF THE MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL MODEL + 60 GHz VNA TEST REPORT
The Base Specification places no requirements on performance. Nevertheless, performance of SERDES channels is key to the viability of PowerMX to ensure a sufficient technology lifetime and to address a wide range of performance challenges.
The following are eye diagrams produced using Mentor Graphics HyperLynx SI GHz (9.0.1), 3D EM modeller (15.3), Altera Stratix V GX/GT transceiver models, and FCI Meg-Array(R) connector models for nearest-neighbour end-to-end PowerMX PMXM-to-PMXM connections.
Note that the 28G eye is not open enough for the receiver indicating that next generation 28G transceivers are required. The underlying physical PCB design incorporates Meg-6 material, via, micro-via, trace, anti-pad, and 3D stackup geometries on the motherboard and plug-in boards believed necessary for actual complex designs. Verification of these approaches with real designs is in process.
Also see FCI Meg-Array(R) performance testing report at: FCI Meg-Array technical data
The following graphics illustrate applications examples.
This first example is an illustrative collage of a 4-site motherboard with PMXM and I/O (PMX_IOC) plug-in card possibilities:
This collage contains representations of:
1. Standard and extended PMXM plug-in boards.
2. Plug-in and "hardened" PMXM and PMX_IOC sites.
3. Panel-ready fiber plug-in modules.
4. Motherboard-to-motherboard bridging plug-in boards.
5. Plug-in monolithic PMX_IOC boards c/w and w/o FPGAs.
6. Monolithic backplane transition PMX_IOC module with backplane drivers/repeaters.
7. -48VDC supply with 3, 12V 1/8th brick Vicor IBCs providing up to 1500 W peak power capability.
8. LVDC regulators for PMXM sites, mounted on the Rear Side of the motherboard.
The 4-site motherboard is 17.25" wide and able to fit into a 19" rack-mount server box.
Here is an example of a 2-site motherboard mounted in a server-box chassis with no plug-in boards installed:
Here are two examples of the 2-site chassis loaded with plug-in boards:
Many other chassis as well as blade configurations are possible. Fan placement and cooling strategy illustrated here is notional and requires further investigation.