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GateFlow module includes wideband DDC IP core

Posted: 25 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IP core? IP module? digital receiver board? GateFlow? model 6821-422?

Pentek's Model 6821 GateFlow module

Pentek Inc. released the newest addition to its GateFlow installed-core products. Model 6821-422 includes a factory-installed wideband digital downconverter (DDC) IP core. This DDC is a highly optimized dual-channel version of proprietary GateFlow IP Core 422 tailored for various resources of the board.

According to Pentek VP Rodger Hosking, the company's new product is designed for customers "who want to take advantage of advanced FPGA signal processing right out of the box."

"This is extremely attractive to customers who want to avoid the risks and schedule slips often caused by custom FPGA design efforts. Customers can buy the core already installed, delivered quickly and working at a well defined functional level with virtually zero risk," Hosking said.

The module is based on Model 6821 215MHz ADC VME with dual Virtex-II Pro FPGAs. The result is a complete, preconfigured digital software radio subsystem that accepts front-panel analog RF input and delivers real or complex digital output samples translated to baseband from any frequency slice of the input signal.

Applications include wideband recording and systems, real-time DSP and software radio systems, and data-acquisition applications for wideband communication signals used in telemetry and SATCOM. Radar-pulse and beamforming applications especially benefit from the board's many gate, trigger and multi-channel synchronization modes.

Using a unique polyphase implementation, the FPGA IP Core 422 leapfrogs commonly used TI/Graychip GC1012B ASIC in terms of speed, dynamic range and programmability. The core operates at frequencies up to 296MHz, while most ASIC downconverters top out near 150MHz. Moreover, 422 Core uses higher-precision math than ASIC devices to deliver adjacent channel rejection of up to 100dB and frequency tuning resolution of 32bits. Instead of a single fixed low-pass filter, the core offers four sets of programmable coefficients stored in user-accessible RAM. These coefficients are preloaded with 80 and 90 percent filters during power-up, but can be overwritten during runtime for custom filter characteristics.

Inside 6821-422
The AD9430 ADC from Analog Devices digitizes incoming signal at 215MHz and delivers identical sample streams of two independent 422 DDC cores, one in each of the XC2VP50 FPGAs. Within each core, an input stage allows scaling of A/D samples by a 16bit gain term. Even and odd samples are split into two streams that are directed into two DDC engines in parallel operation. A direct digital frequency synthesizer core generates the desired center frequency of the band of interest.

It delivers two complex local oscillator signals, offset slightly in phase, to two complex digital mixers that perform frequency translation of the input signal to 0Hz. Dual FIR low-pass filters limit output bandwidth. A final combining, decimation and formatting stage delivers real or complex output samples as required. The filters can use one of four independent sets of 18bit coefficients for each of the six decimation settings. The cores also offer a bypass mode that routes digital samples straight to the output with a simple software switch.

The digital output signals are available on two or four front panel data port connectors using several data-packing modes. In addition, the signals can be delivered as low voltage differential signaling through either the VMEbus P2 connector or a second-slot front-panel mezzanine.

Software support
Model 6821-422 is supported by proprietary C-callable ReadyFlow board support libraries. ReadyFlow provides development tools for quick startup through application completion, allows programming at high, intermediate and low levels to meet various needs, as well as complete source code for all functions.

Pricing for the module starts at $17,495, with 10 weeks ARO. Because GateFlow cores are factory-installed, there are no licensing fees or project use restrictions.

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