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SKYbolt II Architecture
Home >> SKYbolt II Architecure
The SKYbolt II is part of a modular set of building blocks that can be configured uniquely to create
the optimum solution for your design and deployment needs.
At SKY Computers each program is evaluated for its specific requirements to architect the ideal
balance of processing performance, memory capacity, and I/O bandwidth. SKY's proposal, derived from a
mutual understanding of the objectives, includes the required off-the-shelf SKY building blocks,
suggestions for partner-supplied components, and recommendations for new technologies to be developed
by or with SKY. The result of this partnership achieves maximum advantage in time-to-market,
performance, and cost. SKY has the expertise, the flexibility and the resources to provide the
The 6U and 9U SKYbolt II motherboards provides all the resources required to obtain optimal
performance from SKY's family of processor and I/O daughtercards. Data is transferred throughout
the SKYbolt II motherboard over the SKYchannel Packet Bus, capable of
moving information at 320 MB/sec. That data moves transparently through the SKYchannel P2 interface
to other boards in a SKYchannel system, whether they are in the same chassis or a different chassis.
(Click on images to enlarge view.)
System control is handled by the System Processor, which performs I/O and operating system tasks that
would otherwise burden the compute processors. A full VME 64 interface provides communication to the host
and other for off-board communication.
The application runs on the processors resident on the MPC7410-based Merlin
daughtercard. Memory or front-panel I/O expansion daughtercards may be added without removing any of the
The SKYbolt II architecture utilizes a System Processor (SP) to off-load system-level functions from the
compute processors. The core of the SP is an Intel i960CA superscalar processor. SKY adds 256 KB SRAM
used as zero-wait-state RAM and 512KB Flash RAM for non-volatile storage of configurable boot code. This
configuration not only allows the compute daughtercards to be more effective at executing the numerically
intensive tasks but also provides more systems-level functionality.
System Processor Features
Provides the bulk of the operating system services, freeing the compute processors to run
more efficiently with a small kernel
Quickly fields all interrupts, and informs a compute processor only when there is a task
specifically for that processor
Controls interface synchronization, polling, and setup on a separate bus, freeing SKYchannel
from performance draining single-word transfers
Executes a programmable list of I/O operations as directed by a compute processor, while
that processor continues computation
VME 64 Interface
The SKYbolt II includes a fully featured VME 64 Master/Slave interface. Data transfers using multiplexed
block mode transfers (MBLT) provide high performance communication with other VME boards. The fully
programmable master/slave interface supports Read-Modify-Write (RMW) cycles, three programmable release
methods, requester on all levels, interrupter on all levels, and VME Retry. A special communication
buffer RAM enhances performance of VMEbus RWM cycles. Programs have the flexibility of accessing the VME
interface directly or handing off the communication task to the System I/O processor.
Technical Support and Warranty Programs
SKY's commitment to quality begins with the industry's longest standard hardware warranty. All SKYbolt
II family hardware products have a standard three year warranty. Throughout your development and deployment,
SKY's experienced technical support engineers follow up with the support you need when you need it.