A Cyberinfrastructure platform to meet the needs of data intensive radio astronomy on route to the SKA

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PowerMX Working Group Public Page

Last updated 7 days ago by Brent Carlson


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. 

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.


PowerMX PMX.1 Base Specification

PMX.1 Base Spec -- 2014-08-22 corrections & clarifications 

Supplementary Files:

PowerMX motherboard and mezzanine board SolidWorks models  

PowerMX motherboard 3D pdf

PowerMX PMXM 3D pdf

PowerMX PMX_IOC 3D pdf


List of Audited Providers:



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


Applications Examples:

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.