UniBoard² will create an FPGA-based, generic, scalable, high-performance computing platform for radio-astronomical applications. This WP consolidates and builds upon the experience obtained through the UniBoard project to create a completely re-designed platform with several innovative features, that will be ready for the next generation of astronomical instruments (notably the SKA), at the end of 2015.

Power efficiency is going to be a crucial issue for future instrumentation. For this platform the newest technology available on the timescale of the project will be used, which means replacing the current 40 nm with 28 nm or even 20 nm FPGAs. The use of a technique offered by FPGA manufacturers under names such as HardCopy or EasyPath will be investigate. This enables one to develop on standard FPGAs and then to freeze the design into ASICs with the same footprint. While a full-blown hard-copy production run is not feasible due to the high initial cost involved, UniBoard² will design the applications with hard copy in mind, and run extensive simulations to determine its effect on power consumption. Further "green" measures will include the use of non-leaded components, the careful balancing of system parameters and performance and the optimisation of firmware designs and algorithms.

Currently, firmware is shared among partners through a common repository. Part of the effort in UniBoard² will deal with formalizing the exchange mechanism through the definition of coding conventions and common interfaces, in order to optimize the re-use and the combination of available blocks of firmware among developers.

The leader of this activity is Arpad Szomoru

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