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Pentek makes available 'complete transceiver functions in compact module'

Posted: 21 Jan 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:pentek? software? radio transceiver module? radio transceiver? model 7140 pmc?

Pentek Inc. released a complete software radio transceiver module that combines both transmit and receive capabilities with a Virtex II-Pro FPGA and supports the emerging VITA 42 XMC standard with optional switched-fabric interfaces for high-speed I/O.

Suitable for connection to IF or RF ports of a communication system, the Model 7140 PMC module is available in a variety of form factors, including PCI, 3U and 6U cPCI and a PMC conduction-cooled version.

The front end of the module accepts two 4dBm full-scale analog RF inputs and transformer-couples them into 14bit ADCs running at 80MHz or 105MHz. The digitized output signals pass to a Virtex-II Pro FPGA for signal processing or routing to other module resources. These resources include a quad digital downconverter, a digital upconverter with dual DACs, 512MB DDR SDRAM delay memory and the PCI bus. The FPGA also serves as a control and status engine with data and programming interfaces to each of the on-board resources. Factory-installed FPGA functions include data multiplexing, channel selection, data packing, gating, triggering and SDRAM memory control.

Since the FPGA controls the data flow within the module and provides signal processing as well, the module can be configured for many different functions, said Pentek. In addition to acting as a simple transceiver, the module can perform user-defined DSP functions on the baseband signals using the company's GateFlow and ReadyFlow development tools. These functions can include demodulation/modulation, decoding/encoding, decryption/encryption, digital delay and channelization of the signals between reception and transmission.

"This board is ideal for developers requiring complete transceiver functions in a compact module, such as military radios and commercial wireless," commented Rodger Hosking, Pentek's VP. "This board has a unique combination of functions with two receive and two transmit channels, all the power of the FPGA in between and XMC for high-speed I/Operfect for software radio, signals intelligence (SIGINT) and Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) applications."

The module includes Texas Instruments Inc.'s Graychip GC4016 quad digital downconverter and DAC5686 digital upconverter with dual DACs. Each channel in the downconverter can be set with an independent tuning frequency and bandwidth. Channels may also be combined to increase bandwidth up to 10MHz. The upconverter translates a real or complex baseband signal to any IF center frequency from DC to 160MHz, and can deliver real or complex (I+Q) analog outputs through its two 16bit DACs. The digital upconverter can be bypassed for two interpolated D/A outputs with sampling rates to 500MHz.

Inputs to the downconverter can come from many sources, including the input ADCs, the FPGA signal processing engines, an SDRAM delay memory or data sources on the PCI bus. The built-in clock/sync bus supports multi-module synchronization as well as dual on-board oscillators for independent input and output clock rates.

According to Pentek, the Model 7140 is one of the first to offer the VITA 42 XMC interface. This enables it to transfer data through optional Serial RapidIO, PCI-Express or other switched-fabric interfaces, providing a high-speed streaming data path independent of the PCI bus.

A clock/sync bus allows synchronization of local oscillator phase, frequency switching, decimating filter phase and data collection among multiple Model 7140s. One board acts as a master, driving clock, sync and gate signals out to a front-panel flat cable bus using Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS). And by using a Pentek Model 9190 clock and sync generator to drive the signals, up to 80 boards can be configured to operate synchronously.

The GateFlow FPGA Design Kit provides designers with all VHSIC Hardware Description Language (VHDL) source code and device configuration for the basic factory-installed functions to facilitate the addition of custom algorithms. Also available are the company's GateFlow IP Cores, including wideband digital receivers, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and pulse-compression algorithms.

In addition, the ReadyFlow Board Support Libraries of C-callable device functions for the processor platform are supplied with all I/O modules. Board operation and set-up is simplified through easy-to-use function calls and it still provides the flexibility and power of low-level access to all of the board's hardware. Pentek support libraries, device drivers and software development tools, plus third-party offerings, are all available for a variety of platforms, including PCs running Windows 2000/XP or Linux and PowerPCs running VxWorks, Linux or eCos (an open-source RTOS).

The prices of the Model 7140 PMC module, Model 7240 6U cPCI board, 7340 3U cPCI board and 7640 PCI board start at $6,995, with first delivery 12 to 14 weeks ARO.

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