TRS addresses three key issues encountered when attempting to take products designed for data center use into aerospace environments: cooling, removable storage and the management of internal cables in high-vibration environments.
The processor subsystem is based on standard, commercial motherboards.
The latest X11-class motherboards support enormously powerful CPUs, including configurations with dual 28 core Xeon Platinum processors each designed for a power rating of over 200W, and the adoption of graphics processing units for computational tasks can easily double that power dissipation.
To accommodate both the high power processors and the large (Extended ATX, 12” x 13”) motherboards that support them, the TRS dispenses with the legacy approach of having the storage devices (disks, SSDs, etc) in front of the motherboard, relocating them to an attached “second enclosure” located underneath the motherboard.
In addition to improving the airflow across the motherboard, the second enclosure houses 12 storage devices (disks or SSDs) on a removable tray, which allows the complete set of devices to be removed and replaced as a single module. The tray, roughly 12” square by 1” thick, encapsulates the storage devices with Heat Dissipate Covers — integrated heat sinks — that allow for efficient cooling of the storage in the airflow. Tray options exist for 6Gbps SATA, 12Gbps SAS and NVMe, with standard drive “heights” of 7mm, 12.5mm and 15mm supported. The NVMe variant employs a PCI Express “Gen3” x16 host adapter (backward compatible with x8) and the necessary PCI Express switches to provide an aggregate data rate of 16,000Mbytes/sec between the set of SSDs and the host. Using the currently available devices, total storage capacities in excess of 120TB per tray is attainable.
To further improve the TRS resilience to vibration and obstructed airflow, a specially designed Power / Signal Distribution Plane is provided, located beneath the conventional motherboard. This eliminates the need for lengthy power cables running around the motherboard, by providing power close to where it’s required; a rugged printed circuit board carries the voltages from the power supply to connectors adjacent to the motherboard’s and GPU’s power sockets, and short service loops connect the two. By minimizing the length of the cable, better anchorage against vibration is provided as well as reduced interference with airflow.
Airflow is provided by a front-mounted bank of oversized fans, located behind a removable and washable filter. A baffle in front of the card cage deflects air down and across the storage devices.
The 3U variant supports all half-height PCI Express cards, while the 4U supports both half-height and full-height.