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Modified commercial off-the-shelf boards

Modified-COTS, or MOTS, is a modification made to a standard REFLEX CES COTS board, adapted to meet your specific requirements. Some MOTS can be created with a cost reduction objective. The modifications can include, for example, adding interfaces, depopulating the board, reducing the density of FPGA, finding workaround, and more.

For a lot of markets, the technologies are not supporting the whole lifetime of the project, and customers need to migrate their board from old to newest technologies for sensitive devices like FPGA, memories, PCB and others. Therefore, REFLEX CES can re-spin the board using long lifetime components and materials, potentially adding new features.

Memory is one of the shortest lifecycle components. REFLEX CES has the capacity to offer alternatives on memory components, for MOTS products, based on the expertise of the board engineerings teams.


This example below shows anevolution of technology (from a MOTS based on an Intel® Stratix® IV FPGA to a COTS based on an Intel® Arria® 10 FPGA), and so an evolution of performances, but with the same objectives between the 2 projects.


  • PCIe Gen2 x8 -> PCIe Gen3 x8
  • Intel® Stratix® IV GX -> Intel® Arria® 10 GX
  • 10G Ethernet -> 80G Ethernet

Power dissipation and integration are rising topics with the growing thermal challenges of high-end FPGAs and larger bill of material for surrounding components (power tree, memory devices, optical cages, etc.). Latest FPGA generations have more than doubled power dissipation, with all the programmable logic available, numerous high-speed transceivers at 28Gbps or more, and exploding number of IO pins.

Additionally, customers are trying to use more FPGA boards in their systems. The integration becomes a challenge knowing that many systems are not optimized for PCIe FPGA boards (airflow direction, airflow guides, fan specification, cavities, etc.).

REFLEX CES can work with you to determine if the generic board heatsink is sufficient for your project usage, or if a specific custom heatsink needs to be developed (passive or active cooling) based on thermal simulations. We also help you to include in your project the type of server used, which depends on its configuration (PCIe slot, riser option, CPU configuration, etc.).

REFLEX CES is using off-The-Shelves servers that potentially we can modify, but also has the capabilities to design a full turnkey system for your dedicated embedded application.


This example shows the evolution of a COTS off-the-shelf board, the Stratix 10 200G PCIe board, to a MOTS board with a 2-slots passive dissipation.The goal for the customer was to reduce the air flow while keeping the same performances.


  • 1-slot passive dissipation -> 2-slots passive dissipation
  • Based on the Stratix® 10 200G PCIe board

This example shows the evolution of a COTS off-the-shelf board, The Stratix® 10 GX 80G PCIe board, with a 1-slot passive heatsink, to a MOTS board with a 2-slots active heatsink. The goal for the customer was to increase the thermal transfer by creating a bigger air flow around the heatsink.


  • 1-slot -> 2-slots
  • passive dissipation -> active dissipation
  • Based on the Stratix® 10 GX 800G PCIe board

A major and potentially critical part of the design is the connectivity with the signal integrity of the high-speed transceivers. One of the key skills of REFLEX CES is to assess how we can modify some of these connectivity parts of the design in order to fulfill the project needs, with the smallest impact on the overall design and its development cycle, and securing the changes. It can be by modifying the connectivity at the PCIe bracket, like optical cages or FMC connector at the front end of the board, by adding some specific extension connectors (GPIO, transceivers) for board-to-board communication, or by adding storage capabilities or video inputs/outputs, for example.


This example shows the connectivity customization of a COTS board. One of the optical cages has been deleted, to add monitoring and programming interfaces on the top face.


  • PCIe Gen3 x8
  • Intel® Arria® 10 GX 1150 KLE board
  • 4 GB DDR4 -> 8GB DDR4
  • Dual QSFP+ cages > 1 QSFP+ cage

Some vertical applications may have very specific requirements in terms of clocking / PLL speed and accuracy, connectors suitable to given standards, FPGA speed grade for the core or the transceivers, temperature range, or qualification process. We can study how to use our board and modify it in order to fit your specific requirements and conditions.


Intel®Stratix® 10 FPGA

Modified COTS benefits

Our Modified COTS are based on ready-made REFLEX CES standard off-the-shelf COTS boards, with few or many modifications to meet your specific business needs and requirements.

The main benefits of those MOTS are a strong reliability on the product, as it is already developed, tested and produced; but also a quick deployment, implying cost-savings, competitive advantage on the competitors, and so profitability with your cost-effective solution.
Your constraints are of course considered in your requirements.

REFLEX CES modified COTS are compliant with applicable electronical norms; more certifications can be applied according to your needs.

This is the perfect solution for a reduced cost or a shortened time-to-market.

REFLEX CES also offer rugged and rackmount systems, and full turnkey solutions.

Modified COTS specifications

REFLEX CES commercial off the shelf boardsare being modified, customized, and adapted to meet your needs and requirements.The final product is a custom solution, made from a standard off the shelf product.

Those modifications can be related tohardware orsoftware development, heatsink or connectivity adjustment, andcan be made at every step of the process (when integrating the board, when setting up thefinal chassis, etc).

Prototypes can also be produced to ensure it fits your needs.

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