ROACH Development

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  • Francois Kapp (KAT) - francois dot kapp at ska dot ac dot za [H]
  • Alan Langman (KAT) [H/S]
  • Alec Rust (KAT) [H]
  • Etienne Bauermeister (KAT) [H]
  • Marc Welz (KAT) [S]
  • Shanly Rajan (KAT) [S]
  • David George (KAT) [S]
  • Andrew Martens (KAT) [S]
  • Steve Durand (NRAO) [H]
  • George Peck (NRAO) [H]
  • Mike Revnell (NRAO) [H]
  • Dan Werthimer (CASPER) [H/S]
  • Henry Chen (CASPER) [H/S]
  • Hayden So (HKU) [S]

[H] denotes hardware development. [S] denotes software development, including firmware, O/S and toolflow.


ROACH Design Notes

SVN repository

See the ROACH SVN repository at

For access, contact Francois Kapp.

Implementation Status

Schematics were completed in 2007, and layout was finished in March 2008. The first prototype boards were fabricated and have been assembled as of mid-April 2008. The first of the prototypes was powered-up April 25 2008 at meerKAT. During May tests have been done that have verified basic functionality of the Virtex 5 FPGA, the Actel management FPGA, the XAUI/10GbE connections, the DDR2 memory for the FPGA, the QDR memory, and the ZDOK connections. The PowerPC and associated devices have also been tested. These tests have revealed several issues whose solutions have been incorporated into a new board revision; this revision was completed in July 2008. Assembled boards were received on 6 August 2008 and testing was completed in November 2008.

A (tentative) first production version has been designed and is currently being manufactured and assembled.

ROACH prototype PCB blanks
ROACH prototype
ROACH prototype in 1U ATX chassis


The schematics are complete up to version 1.0.2. Review notes are available: ROACH Review Notes.

ROACH Power Estimate Current and power estimates.


ROACH layout completed. Take a look at the ROACH PCB layout.

Some layout notes and reminders: ROACH Layout Notes.

ROACH 1.0.2 Layout completed.

Production Runs

ROACH1 Production Schedule

Notes for Future Revisions

Notes, bugs, omissions, suggestions... Roach in the future.

Workshops and Meetings

Workshop at BWRC - 27 & 28 June 2007

Discussion, Review and Agreement on Block Diagram

Design Review at BWRC - 29 June 2007

ROACH Preliminary Design Review Notes


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