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Virtex-6 based FPGA-computer

Highest density of processing resources


Using up to 64 Virtex-6 LX550T FPGAs in its standard configuration, RIVYERA V6-LX550T moves application specific computing to a new level and provides high-density supercomputing resources for top-of-the-line applications. Additional local RAM and a true 128 GByte shared memory expansion (optional) with a dedicated connection from each FPGA to the shared memory, offer sufficient memory for all types of computation and data. From assembly of bioinformatics data to z-buffering in 3D graphics, the RIVYERA is the highest performant computer in the market.

Key features

rivyera v6-lx550t xilinx virtex 6 550t fpga front

  • 4 to 64 Xilinx Virtex-6 LX550T FPGAs per machine
  • scalability up to 1792 FPGAs per rack; mixed FPGA setups supported
  • up to 220 GB distributed RAM and 4 TB SDHC total
  • up to 128 GB shared memory with 100+ GB/s total bandwidth
  • individual addressing of FPGAs as well as broadcasting
  • Up to 30000 CPU cores performance (application specific)


Using 64 Virtex-6 LX550T FPGAs , one RIVYERA provides all the performance needed for extreme but power-efficient speed-ups of your applications or even new types of analysis and competitive advantage. Directly attached 512 MByte of DDR3 memory and the possibility to add an additional 2 GByte per FPGA as well as up to 4 GByte per SO-DIMM per FPGA card, an expansion port per FPGA for additional 32 GByte of SDHC card based memory and two 3 Terabyte SAS hard disks offer lots of memory even for memory and storage intensive applications. If shared memory is a requirement, a shared memory card with up to 128 GByte RAM can be added.

Each RIVYERA has an integrated standard off–the–shelf server class PC internally connected through up to  seven 4lane PCI-Express based i/o cards. 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 10 RIVYERA (640 FPGAs) can be fit into a standard rack and be connected to provide - for specific algorithms - performance comparable to the world's top 50 supercomputers.

Technology Overview

  • Computational Performance: Using up to 64 Virtex-6 LX550T FPGAs in a fully scalable setup, RIVYERA provides an optimal performance-power consumtion-benefit ratio.
  • Memory: Providing 512 MB DDR3 RAM (with the option of an additional 2 GB RAM module) for each of the 64 FPGAs, RIVYERA offers enough distributed memory for any application. A dedicated connection from each FPGA provides access to an optional 128 GB shared memory card. Of course, the regular extremely high speed block RAM of the FPGAs is also available.
  • 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 (4 TB total), 2 GB RAM expansion per FPGA (not compatible with shared memory) and up to 4GByte of SO-DIMM based memory per FPGA card 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. The RIVYERA V6 LX550T provides typical speedups from 1500 to 30000 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 transport the backplane bandwidth directly into your IT-infrastructure.
free os linux unix
  • 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.
Memory, Bandwidth and API

The new Virtex-6 LX550T has a number of configuration options and, in addition to the FPGAs block RAM, provides 512 MB DDR3 RAM, optionally additional 2 GB DDR3 RAM and optionally up to 32 GB SDHC memory per FPGA and up to 4GByte SO-DIMM memory per FPGA card. Depending on the number of FPGAs within your configuration of choice, several hundred GB RAM and several TB of SDHC become available. Each FPGA accesses its local RAM with a bandwidth of up to 3.2 GB/s (see below graph for more detail), which leads to an enormous data-access rate of 200+ GB/s in a 16 cards / 128 FPGA setup - if the algorithms are suitable for such distributed processing.

Additionally, the option to use shared memory has been improved with this newest RIVYERA generation. In the current revision, up to 128 GB of shared memory are available and each FPGA can access these resources via a dedicated link, which it uses exclusively. This results in a bandwidth of 800 MB/s per FPGA to the shared memory, which scales linearly with the number of FPGAs. A fully equipped Virtex-6 LX550T thus provides more than 100 GB/s data rate. Attention: Not compatible with 2 GB RAM per FPGA expansion.

Last, not least, full as well als partial memory copy from the integrated host-PC to the shared memory card is supported via the API, in addition to all the API's usual and well-liked features like broadcasting, individual addressing of FPGAs and (partial) reconfiguration during run-time.

xilinx virtex-6 LX550T RIVYERA FPGA card

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

  • 4 to 64 Virtex-6 LX550T

  • 512 MB DRAM per FPGA

  • optional: additional 2 GB DRAM per FPGA
  • optional: 32 GB SDHC Card per FPGA
  • optional: 4 GB SO-DIMM per FPGA card
  • optional: 128 GB shared memory card

  • Supermicro off-the-shelf server grade Mainboard
  • Intel Corei7, 950
  • 12 GB RAM, ECC DDR3
  • IPMI Controller for remote administration
  • SAS RAID-Controller
  • up to 7 PCIe slots for i/o cards
  • Watchdog
  • (standard configuration, b2o available)

Userdata storage
  • optional: up to two 3–TB SAS harddisks

  • 16 identical Slots
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: 1400W (redundant supply)
    for the integrated PC
  • Output power: up to 4 * 1800W for the FPGA supercomputer
  • Line voltage: universal input (100V to 240V AC), power factor corrected
  • Maximum input current: 48.0A (100V to 120V) or 32.0A (200V to 240V) per supply
  • Frequency: autom. shifting 47Hz to 63Hz, single phase
  • 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 (pc power supply). An undisturbed service is guaranteed. Seperated power input.

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

Environmental requirements


  • Operating temperature:
    10°C to 35°C (50°F to 95°F)
  • Storage temperature:
    -40°C to 70°C (-40°F to 158°F)
  • Operating Humidity (non condensing):
    8% to 70% RH
  • Storage Humidity (non condensing):
    5% to 95% RH
  • Optional: Military Quality Hardware


Size and weight
  • Height: 17.8cm (7 inches)
  • Width: 43.7 cm (17.2 inches) for mounting in standard 19–inch rack
  • Depth: 66.9 cm (27.5 inches) - please allow for additional room in the back to ensure airflow
  • Weight: depends on configuration, e.g. 58.0 pounds (26.0 kg) base configuration
  • FCC, CE, RoHS

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

RIVYERA S6-LX550T Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA 550T