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Transceiver platform targets high-bandwidth platforms

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

Keywords:RTS 2504? transceiver development platform? Pentek?

Pentek Inc. announced its new RTS family of real-time data recording and playback platforms, the RTS 2504. The RTS platforms are integrated instruments featuring a range of A/D and D/A resources with high-speed links to JBOD disk arrays. The RTS 2504 uses Pentek's 7140 PMC radio transceiver module for acquiring live IF or RF analog signals for disk storage and playing back signal files through DACs to deliver IF or RF analog outputs. Occupying a single VMEbus slot, the RTS 2504 is a programmable development platform that targets high-bandwidth data recording and playback applications such as radar, direction finding, SIGINT, telemetry and commercial wireless base stations.

"This fourth member of the RTS platform family represents big steps in both density and technology," said Pentek vice president Rodger Hosking. "Our previous transceiver system required two different mezzanine cards, but the 7140 combines all functions in a single transceiver PMC module, freeing a mezzanine site for additional functions. New resources inside the 7140 include a Virtex-II Pro FPGA with on-board processors and gigabit serial interfaces, plus 512 Mbytes of fast, on-board SDRAM."

The product, said Pentek, benefits from its SystemFlow API and development library software. SystemFlow software allows developers to configure and customize the unit's interfaces and behaviors. It includes code for the real-time data acquisition, playback system and user-control software running on the host PC, including the GUI. All source code and an API are provided, allowing developers to either modify the sample code or use it as a reference.

The RTS 2504 platform accepts signals through two 14bit ADCs sampling at up to 105MHz and passes the signals to a Virtex-II Pro FPGA for signal processing and data handling. The FPGA works in conjunction with a 4-channel Graychip/TI GC4016 digital receiver to extract and tune narrowband channels with bandwidths ranging from audio up to 2.5MHz.

In addition to the receiver section, the RTS 2504 offers a transmit section with interpolation filters, a digital upconverter and two 16bit DACs. Drawing data from the disk array or other I/O, the upconverter mode supports frequency translation of baseband signals to IF frequencies as high as 160MHz, delivering real or I/Q analog outputs. In the D/A mode, two independent playback channels are interpolated and then delivered to the DACs at sampling rates up to 500MHz.

The RTS 2504 occupies a single 6U VME card, allowing as many as 20 units to fit into a standard card cage. System developers can synchronize multiple modules to create a single system with as many as 40 transceiver channels.

According to Pentek, multiple FPGAs reside within the RTS 2504 hardware, providing engineers with the ability to add signal processing, formatting and data manipulation functions, directly within the data path, for both the input and output channels.

The platform also includes the GateFlow FPGA design kit for custom IP development. It includes design information, software files, DSP functions and development utilities. In addition, IP cores can also be pre-installed at the factory, said the company. Pentek's GateFlow IP cores include wideband and narrowband digital down-converters, FFTs and pulse-compression algorithms.

The RTS 2504 data recording and playback platform hardware is priced starting at $26,995, available Q3 2006. Developers who do not already have SystemFlow software can obtain the software separately for $8,500.

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