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FPGA-computing for restricted budgets

Spartan-3 5000 based massively parallel system


The new RIVYERA computing-architecture is the technological successor of the COPACOBANA and provides a backplane with up to 16 cards and a total of 128 high performance FPGAs within a 3 high unit, 19-inch server chassis. The massively parallel FPGA-computer is connected to an off–the–shelf host-PC via PCIe controller cards while the FPGAs are interconnected by a proprietary high-throughput bus system. The low energy-consumption of 650W in combination with the improved bus-system makes the RIVYERA a perfect choice also for setting up high-density and large-scale FPGA clusters if supercomputer-performance is required.


Key features

rivyera front

  • 16 to 128 Xilinx Spartan-3 5000 FPGAs per machine
  • High throughput bus and extreme scalability with up to 1792 FPGAs per rack
  • 4 GB DRAM, up to 4 TB SDHC, flexible amounts of shared memory per RIVYERA
  • 640 mio system gates, 4.26 mio slices per RIVYERA
  • 1916k bit block RAM and 104 18x18 multipliers per FPGA
  • Up to 12000 CPU cores performance at 650W energy consumption


Main application areas include bioinformatics, financial mathematics, scientific or engineering simulation, cryptography and many others.

For more details about the technology, please click on below categories.

Using 128 Xilinx Spartan–3 5000 FPGAs

Using 128 Xilinx Spartan–3 5000 FPGAs, one RIVYERA provides all the performance needed for extreme but cost-efficient speed-ups of your applications or even new types of analysis and competitive advantage. Directly attached 32 or 64 Megabyte of DRAM per FPGA (build to order option), an expansion port per FPGA for additional 32 Gigabytes of SDHC card based memory (build to order option) and two 1 Terabyte SATA-II hard disks (build to order option) offer a lot of memory even for memory intensive applications. Each RIVYERA has an integrated standard off–the–shelf PC internally connected through up to seven PCI-Express based controller cards (PCIe 16 lanes controllers are available). A set-up as a FPGA cluster with several RIVYERA can be achieved with virtually no performance loss by using SciEngines UPLINK technology. Up to 14 RIVYERA (1792 FPGAs) can be fit into a standard rack and be connected to provide - for specific algorithms - performance comparable to the first three of the world's top 500 supercomputers.


COPACOBANA R-EQ - a "COPACOBANA equivalent" preconfigured RIVYERA - is a setup of 4 RIVYERA S3-5000 FPGA Cards that provides resources  equivalent to a COPACOBANA S3-1000. It allows you to run COPACOBANA's algorithms with the same options and speed, but at reduced power consumption and lower investment. This makes it optimal for academics that would like to perform researchs that includes comparisons with older COPACOBANA S3-1000 publications.

typical COPACOBANA R-EQ setup fully equipped machine
  • 4 RIVYERA S3-5000 FPGA Cards
    • 32 Spartan-3 5000 FPGAs
    • 1024 MByte DRAM, up to 1 TByte SDHC based Flash
    • 160 mio. System Gates, 1.06 mio Slices
    • 59.9 Mbit BlockRAM, 3328 18x18 multipliers
  • Intel® Corei7 930
    • 12 Gbytes of ECC DDR3 RAM
    • 1 TByte Hard Disc Drive
  • 16 RIVYERA S3-5000 FPGA Cards
    • 128 Spartan-3 5000 FPGAs
    • 4 GByte DRAM, up to 4 TByte SDHC based Flash
    • 640 mio. System Gates, 4.26 mio Slices
    • 239 Mbit BlockRAM, 13312 18x18 multipliers
  • Dual Intel® Xeon® 5600 Intel® AES-NI
    • 24 Gbytes of ECC DDR3 RAM
    • 4 TByte Hard Disc space

Please note that a fully equipped RIVYERA S3-5000 would be more than four times faster than a COPACOBANA S3-1000.

Technology Overview
  • Computational Performance: Using 128 Xilinx Spartan–3 5000 FPGAs (XC3S5000) in a fully scalable setup, RIVYERA S3-5000 is capable of providing a maximum of computing performance for affordable costs.
    Please contact us directly should you require different FPGA models
  • Memory: Providing 32 MB DRAM per FPGA, RIVYERA offers 4GB distributed memory for your applications.
  • Additional Memory: Oftentimes, algorithms require look-ups in larger tables. With RIVYERA you have the option to have one 32-GB SDHC card expansion per FPGA to further enhance the distributed computation capabilities.
  • x86 Processing Power: Joining standard x86 based architectures with high performance FPGA technology, RIVYERA allows your CPU to do what it has been originally designed for: Lower-performance, general purpose computing. Focusing on a hybrid computing approach, users can leave significant parts of their codes with little to no adjustments on the host-PC and only execute the most intensive parts of the application on the FPGAs.
  • FPGA Acceleration: Xilinx is one of the worlds leaders in high density FPGA technology and this shows in SciEngines massively parallel setups. RIVYERA S3-5000 provides typical speedups from 1200 to 12000 CPU cores (depending on the algoritm) and thus easily surpasses competitive technologies like GPU computing or other FPGA-based products.
  • High Speed Bus System: Offering interconnection technics from PCI-Express to Infiniband, SciEngines RIVYERA based platforms ensure to transport their backplane bandwidth into your IT-infrastructure.
  • Unix Stability: RIVYERA utilizes an enterprise scale open source based LINUX OS. Oracle Enterprise Linux provides the reliability and power you expect from any PC operating system and seamlessly fits into your cluster set-up. It behaves "just like any other server in the network" and is simply orders of magnitude faster.
  • Windows Flexebility: You would like to have Microsoft Windows preinstalled on your machine: No problem. SciEngines is Microsoft certified partner.
  • Platform Support: Featuring APIs based on C, C++, Java, VHDL and Verilog, RIVYERA ensures to support nearly every platform. An easy to use communication framework together with a set of demo application enables rapid target application and algorithm integration.
Quality and Reliability

Our goal is to provide our customers the maximum of quality and reliabilty they could expect for their money. Using industry and military proven components and technics SciEngines products and especially RIVYERA offers one of the most reliable high performance reconfigurable platforms worldwide. All our products are testet in an 48h stress-test to ensure minimum failures. Continuously thermal monitoring and redundant supplies allow our architecture to ensure operation even in tough environmental conditions. Some of our systems are running 24/7 at a German governmental association without any error nor fail or need of any maintenance in 5 years of operation.

Technical Specifications
In the box
  • Rack mounting hardware
  • Power cords
  • I/O cable (depends on option)
  • Printed and electronic documentation
  • Drivers and Utilities CD–ROM

  • 16 to 128 Xilinx Spartan–3 5000 (XC3S5000)

  • 32–MB DRAM per FPGA

  • optional: 32–GB SDHC Card per FPGA

  • Supermicro off-the-shelf server grade Mainboard
  • Intel Corei7, 930
  • 12 GB RAM, ECC DDR3
  • SATAII RAID-Controller
  • up to 7 PCIe16x slots for controller cards
  • Watchdog
  • (standard configuration, b2o available)

Userdata storage
  • optional: up to 2–TB SATA–II harddisks

  • 18 identical Slots
  • typically 16 occupied by FPGA cards
I/O connections
  • dual 10⁄100⁄1000BASE–T (Gigabit) RJ–45 Ethernet interface (supporting jumbo frames)
  • optional: 10G-Ethernet
  • optional: fibre channel
  • optional: firewire 400
  • optional: firewire 800
  • offered interface depends on configuration
Rack support
  • Fits EIA–310–D–compliant, industry–standard four–post racks and cabinets: 19 inches wide, 24 to 36 inches deep front–to–back cooling for rack enclosure
  • front–to–back cooling for rack enclosure
  • Support for square–hole racks or threaded racks based on mounting kit selection

Electrical requirements
  • Output power: 2 * 650W (redundant supply)
  • Line voltage: universal input (100V to 240V AC), power factor corrected
  • Maximum input current: 32.0A (100V to 120V) or 16.0A (200V to 240V)
  • Frequency: autom. shifting 47Hz to 63Hz, single phase
  • Specification: 2 U Sure Star 2x 650W EPS mini redundant
  • PSU Reliability: MTBF: 100.000 hours at 25°C
  • Certifications: FCC Part 15, Subpart B, Class B, EN55022 CISPR22 Class B, UL60950, CAN/CSA22.2 No.60950, TUV(IEC60950), CE, CB, ISO 9001, ROHS 2002/95/EC
  • Description: Suitable for high available 24/ 7 continous operation request. Hot swap changeable during current running. An undisturbed service is guaranteed. Seperated power input.t

  • 4x 80mm hot-swap fans + 2x 80mm ball bearing fan at rear

Environmental requirements
  • Operating temperature:
    -10°C to 50°C (14°F to 122°F)
  • Humidity (non condensing):
    10% to 90% RH

Size and weight
  • Height: 13.2 cm (5. 19 inches) depends on configuration
  • Width: 44.7 cm (17.6 inches) for mounting in standard 19–inch rack depends on configuration
  • Depth: 66.0 cm (25.9 inches) depends on configuration
  • Weight: depends on configuration, e.g. 38.3 pounds (17.4 kg) base configuration
  • FCC, CE, RoHS

Software included
  • API
  • Communication Test
  • Communication Framework
  • Target Application Specific Software Packages (optional)

rivyera power supply