FlexDuo – FPGA Accelerated, Flexible Execution Mission Processing Architecture
Navy SBIR FY2015.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2015.2
Topic No.: N152-096
Topic Title: FlexDuo – FPGA Accelerated, Flexible Execution Mission Processing Architecture
Proposal No.: N152-096-0591
Firm: QuickFlex, Inc
8401 N. New Braunfels
Suite 324
San Antonio, Texas 78209
Contact: Michael Leary
Phone: (479) 799-6720
Abstract: QuickFlex proposes the FlexDuo mission processing architecture to improve upon the cost and fault tolerance capabilities of current rotorcraft mission computers, while creating enhanced processing capabilities to empower the computationally intensive mission applications of the future. FlexDuo consists of a collection of FPGA-accelerated Processing Nodes with the capability to detect lost Processing Nodes and automatically restore their associated functionality. To accommodate various types of mission functions, FlexDuo provides a flexible execution model: functions may run on the CPU or be implemented on the FPGA for hardware acceleration. FlexDuo Processing Nodes are networked using AFDX, a widely deployed, high data-rate avionic network. FlexDuo uses an ARINC 653 compliant RTOS to guarantee that functions will not interfere with each other when running on the CPU. In addition, FlexDuo uses an innovative technique to provide this kind of guarantee for functions placed on the FPGA. This gives FlexDuo FPGA-enhanced performance while preserving reliability and lowering certification hurdles. FlexDuo reduces cost by minimizing the use of aviation specific chips (which are costly due to lower production volumes), simplifying certification through function encapsulation, and providing a performance hedge against obsolescence.
Benefits: Helicopters are essential to the majority of military operations in both conventional wars and counter-insurgency-type campaigns. The proposed FlexDuo technology provides the Navy and DoD with an innovative, cost-effective, and reliable distributed mission computing architecture for new or retrofitted helicopters of the Navy’s choice. FlexDuo’s unique design provides safety critical, fault tolerant, ruggedized, and high-performance capabilities for both current and future mission applications. Designed to meet Navy’s goals of providing high-uptime, leading-edge technologies at a fraction of today’s costs, the FlexDuo technology is ideal to support our Warfighters in missions of all types. Beyond the DoD, FlexDuo can bring value to various National Critical Infrastructure (NCI) industries, such as the energy sector. Oher sectors include oil and gas drilling and “smart factory” manufacturing where FlexDuo’s capabilities make it a first-rate choice for more harsh manufacturing environments.