ROACH and ROACH2 Systems

(ROACH - Reconfigurable Open Architecture Computing Hardware)

A major and unique product offering from Digicom is its ROACH and ROACH2 (Reconfigurable Open Architecture Computing Hardware) systems that were developed with major universities and research labs throughout the world.

The ROACH2 systems take the baseband data from the most powerful radio telescopes, changes it from analog to digital, and applies sophisticated digital signal processing filtering techniques to derive information about our universe. These systems are customized for each application as some applications require downloading a tremendous amount of data quickly, while others want to selectively download the data. Intricate modules and box-build projects, such as the ROACH2 system, IADC (analog to digital conversion boards), and IBoB (interconnect break-out boards), are totally turnkey.

ROACH is a Virtex5-based upgrade to current CASPER hardware. It merges aspects from the iBOB and BEE2 platforms into a single board. The CX4/XAUI/10GbE interfaces of both are kept, while combining the Z-DOK daughter board interface of the iBoB with the high bandwitdth/capacity DRAM memory and standalone usage model of the BEE2. ROACH is a single-FPGA board, dispensing with the on-board inter-FPGA links in favor of 10GbE interfaces for all cross-FPGA communications.

  • XILINX Virtex 5 SX95T or LX110T
  • 4x 10 Gb Ethernet Ports
  • DDR2 667 MHz memory
  • Standard I U case and power supplies
  • Now Available

ROACH2 was designed as the sequel to ROACH-1 using the new Xilinx Virtex-6 series of FPGAs. It maintains all the aspects that made ROACH-1 a success, but increases the overall performance in terms of processing power, IO throughput and memory bandwidth. It uses the same PowerPC 440EPx present on the ROACH-1 but adds a unified JTAG interface provided through an FTDI FT4232H IC.

Reference: ROACH-2 Revision 2 is a stand-alone FPGA board

Reference: ROACH-2 Revision 2 is a stand-alone FPGA board

Reference: You can find the final revision 2 (the third prototype) schematics at:

Reference: A ROACH-2 datasheet can be found here:

White Paper Articles

"Digicom Electronics and CASPER'S Technology Open Endless Possibilities for Astronomy and Aerospace Innovation and Collaboration."
Today, CASPER technology powers over 45 scientific instruments worldwide. A significant contribution to these innovations comes from Digicom Electronics and its ROACH system. Read it here.

"Process Validation 101," an important component in the design, prototyping and manufacturing process and one, if done correctly, that can save a considerable amount of time, money and resources. Free white paper.

"Cleanliness of PCB Assemblies Leads to Medical Device Reliability," is now available for download. 

News & Events

Digicom Supports the Return of Electronic Assemblies Manufacturing Onshoring with Prioritized Intellectual Property Protection. Digicom is well positioned to support the ongoing trend to onshore electronics manufacturing back to America. Read more here

Digicom's ROACH System Captured the Data that Enabled Scientists to See the First Image of a Black Hole. Digicom has worked with the Collaboration for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER), the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, the University of California Berkeley, and many other institutes, researchers, engineers, and scientists from around the world for more than a decade. Read more here

Digicom Electronics Introduces Portable, Lightweight, 400 Hz Power Converter for On-site Aircraft Maintenance. Digicom Electronics Introduces Portable, Lightweight, 400 Hz Power Converter for On-site Aircraft Maintenance. Details here

Digicom Electronics announces it has received aerospace cerfication AS9100:2016 (RevD) & ISO 9001:2015, and is one of the first EMS companies to achieve it. Learn more