Nallatech Selected to Develop FPGA Architecture for Next Generation European Extremely Large Telescope
August 31st, 2010 – Nallatech, a leading supplier of high-performance Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) FPGA Architecture solutions for over eighteen years, has been selected by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to investigate next generation system architectures that could be used on the instruments of the European Extremely Large Telescope (“E-ELT”) project: www.eso.org/sci/facilities/eelt/
The E-ELT will be a revolutionary new ground-based telescope aimed at tackling the biggest scientific challenges including tracking down Earth-like planets around other stars. FPGA Architecture will aid this new telescope to perform “stellar archaeology” in nearby galaxies, as well as make fundamental contributions to cosmology by measuring the properties of the first stars and galaxies and probing the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
In order to achieve these scientific breakthroughs, advanced sensor and computing technology and FPGA Architecture will be required to control the E-ELT Instruments’ complex adaptive optics in real-time. This involves low latency, high throughput Matrix Vector Multiplication (MVM) calculations. Nallatech’s role in the project is to assess the viability of various architectures and interconnects that utilise Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology. A demonstration system using existing Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware and IP will be used to prove that the required levels of performance are first possible at all, and secondly, scalable.
“We are delighted to be working with ESO on such a high profile and scientifically significant project”, said Craig Petrie, Product Manager at Nallatech. “The computing requirements of E-ELT instruments will push even cutting edge technology to the limit. The FPGA Architecture is a critical element of the proposed architecture as it can act as a data-centric processing engine capable of massive data throughput with minimal latency. “
“Nallatech is an excellent partner for us in high performance computing and real time applications. They are helping us identify and deliver a solution to a very difficult problem”, added Enrico Fedrigo, Project Leader at ESO. “The expertise and the know-how of Nallatech will make them a key contributor to this project. “
Nallatech delivers volume-deployable FPGA Architecture and I/O solutions that increase bandwidth, processing speed, and image quality in rugged and non-rugged embedded computing applications. Our COTS and full custom solutions include modules, board, firmware, and software. Nallatech’s Design Services Team provides turnkey and co-developed algorithm development, FPGA programming, architecture optimization, and package miniaturization solutions. Nallatech, a subsidiary of Interconnect Systems Inc. (www.isipkg.com), has over 5,000 installations worldwide during eighteen-plus years as a leader in the COTS FPGA market. North American customer support, engineering, and manufacturing facilities are ITAR registered. Our European customer support and design center is located in Scotland. For further information, please visit www.nallatech.com, or call +1.805.383.8997 or +44.1236.789.567.
About European Southern Observatory
ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world’s largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.