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Pentek unveils new RTS system

Posted: 18 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RTS 2502? development platform? wideband data acquisition? signal processing? Pentek?

 RTS 2500 development platform system

Pentek Inc. unveiled the latest member of its RTS 2500 development platform systems for real-time wideband data acquisition, signal processing and recording. The RTS 2502 adds playback capability to the family, using the same data-capture front end as the RTS 2501 and adding four D/A channels with two upconverters for playback. The unit comes preconfigured as a data recording system with a graphical user interface (GUI) to make the product ready to use. The RTS 2502 is a fully programmable development platform that targets transceiver applications such as military radios and commercial wireless base stations.

The combination of data recording and playback capabilities in a single unit makes the RTS 2502 especially valuable for developers, according to Pentek vice president Rodger Hosking. "Instead of using simulated signals and signal analysis tools during system development of radar or communication systems," said Hosking, "engineers take the RTS system into the field to capture and generate real-world signals in real time for direct validation of both signal-processing algorithms and system hardware." Hosking added that both the recording and playback functions use an industry-standard 2Gb Fiber Channel interface to either a redundant array of independent disks or just a bunch of disks storage system. "Recording time is limited only by the size of the hard drives and it easily scales to different applications," Hosking said.

As with other members of the RTS 2500 family, Pentek's SystemFlow software allows developers to customize features, interfaces and operations. The software's modular design includes code for the data acquisition system as well as user control software for the GUI on the host PC. Application program interface (API) library functions are provided with the full source code so developers can either modify the example code to meet their needs or use it as a reference for custom software. SystemFlow software supports the entire RTS 2500 family.

Each card in a RTS 2502 system accepts signals through two 14bit ADCs running as fast as 105MHz and passes the signals through digital downconverters to Virtex-II FPGAs for signal processing and data handling. The unit can send raw or processed data to a disk array at speeds up to 160MBps for recording, and the unit can also send the data off-board through front panel data port, RACE++ or GbE ports.

The two playback channels each offer digital upconversion and dual 500MHz, 16bit DACs to produce real or I/Q RF signals, drawing data from the disk array at up to 160MBps or other I/O as desired. Multiple Virtex-II FPGAs provide signal processing, formatting and other data manipulation for the input and output channels.

The GateFlow FPGA design kit is a software package that includes design information, software files, optimized DSP functions and development utilities. Pentek also offers GateFlow IP Cores that include FFTs, wideband and narrowband digital downconverters and a radar pulse compressor.

The RTS 2502 occupies a single 6U VME card, enabling as many as 20 units to fit into a standard card cage. The unit is highly modular, allowing for 40 input channels and 80 output channels with this configuration. In addition, with the Model 9190 clock/sync generator, system developers can synchronize up to 80 I/O modules, each with a common clock and up to five different timing signals for synchronizing, triggering and gating functions.

Pricing for the RTS 2502 base system starts at $29,995 for hardware only, and $41,495 when bundled SystemFlow and GateFlow software. Developers can use one software suite across multiple hardware platforms. Delivery is eight to 12 weeks ARO.

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