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Software radio transceiver suits IF, RF systems

Posted: 10 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Pentek? Model 7142? software radio transceiver?

Pentek Inc. has released Model 7142, the newest member of its software radio transceiver modules. According to the press release, the new PMC module provides complete software radio transceiver functions suitable for IF or RF communication systems and promises increased capabilities, including dual Virtex-4 FPGAs, four ADCs and 50 percent more memory. This module is available in a variety of form factors, including PCI, 3U and 6U cPCI, as well as a PMC conduction-cooled version.

"We see customers dealing with more complex waveforms, more channels in radar and beam forming applications, and communication systems with wider bandwidths. These market forces drive the need for better DSP processing performance, high-speed interconnects and increased data sampling rates," said Rodger Hosking, Pentek's vice president. "With four 125MHz ADCs coupled to two powerful Virtex-4 FPGAs, Model 7142 offers an excellent solution."

A built-in clock/sync bus supports multi-module synchronization as well as provides dual on-board oscillators for independent input and output clock rates. The bus allows synchronization of local oscillator phase, frequency switching, decimating filter phase and data collection among multiple Model 7142s. One board acts as a master, driving clock, sync and gate signals out to a front-panel flat cable bus using LVDS. The master alone can drive as many as seven slaves. By using a Pentek Model 9190 clock and sync generator to drive the signals, developers can configure up to 80 boards to operate synchronously.

Digitized RF signals from four 14bit 125MHz ADCs pass into a Virtex-4 SX55 FPGA for signal processing or routing to other module resources. These resources include a DC-to-160MHz digital upconverter, a 16bit 500MHz DAC, 768Mbytes of DDR2 SDRAM, and a Virtex-4 FX FPGA that handles I/O. The FX device includes both a PCI bus interface with 9-channel DMA controller and a VITA 42-compliant XMC dual 4x Gigabit serial interface to support switched fabrics with data rates up to 2.5Gbps in each direction.

Factory-installed Virtex-4 SX55 functions include transient capture, advanced triggering modes and waveform playback along with control and programming interfaces to the other on-board resources. "These Virtex-4 FPGAs represent major performance improvements for the user," noted Hosking. "They take advantage of jumps in technology with reduced power consumption, higher clock rates, more than twice as many DSP slices and significantly enhanced DSP slice functions."

The module's FPGA resources are fully available to the user. In addition to taking advantage of factory pre-programming, which allows use of Model 7142 out of the box, Pentek said customers can implement their own DSP and data-handling functions using the company's GateFlow development tools. These tools come as separate kits for each FPGA.

The design kit for the SX55 enables users to add their own IP to this FPGA, Pentek said, which specifically targets intensive signal processing algorithms. The SX55 features 512 DSP slices, making it ideal for demodulation/modulation, decoding/encoding, decryption/encryption, digital delay and channelization of signals between reception and transmission. The design kit for the FX allows installation of IP cores for various Gigabit switched serial fabrics, including Serial RapidIO, PCI Express and Aurora.

An optional version of Model 7142 replaces the SX55 with the LX100 FPGA for applications requiring a maximum number of logic slices. This version is similarly supported with its own GateFlow Design Kit.

The Model 7142 also uses Pentek's ReadyFlow Board Support Libraries of C-callable device functions. The company said ReadyFlow simplifies board operation and set-up through easy-to-use function calls while offering low-level access to all of the board's hardware.

Available 8-10 weeks ARO, the Model 7142 PMC module is priced at $13,500. Additional form factors include the 7242 6U cPCI board, 7342 3U cPCI board and 7642 PCI board.




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