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Software radio PMC modules highlight performance, density

Posted: 31 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Software radio? GateFlow IP core? PMC module?

Pentek Inc. introduces a new family of rugged software radio modules with two of the company's GateFlow FPGA IP cores. As an added benefit, because the IP cores are pre-installed by Pentek, the user is completely free from any FPGA development tasks. Pentek's 7141-420 and 7141-430, the first modules in this new family, transform the 7141 into two distinct and highly integrated products addressing a diverse range of applications.

"The speed, accuracy and enhanced dynamic range of the 7141 alone set it apart from other PMC products in the market," says Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. "By developing these new installed cores, Pentek engineers not only extended both upper and lower ranges of transceiver signal bandwidths, but also boosted the number of receivers to 512 channels in a single slot. The new 7141-420 and 7141-430 are available in conduction-cooled versions to handle rugged applications in aircraft, UAVs, torpedoes and other severe environments of temperature, shock, vibration and altitude. This versatility allows design engineers to secure exactly what they need in the field," he added.

Dual wideband DDC
The 7141-420 extends the bandwidth range of both the digital upconverters (DUCs) and digital downconverters (DDCs) from very narrow to very wide.

For example, compared to the previous DDC decimation range of 32 to 16,384 without the core, the decimation now extends from 2 (for bandwidths up to 50MHz) to 1,048,576 (for audio bandwidths). This satisfies an increasing demand to monitor a diverse range of signal classes.

Another enhancement is with regard to the interpolation range: The range of the DUC has been extended from 2 to 32,768 vs. 2 to16 without the core. So now the 7141-420 can handle signals from 40MHz down to 2.44kHz, matching the range of the receive signal bandwidths.

The 7141-420 is suitable for general-purpose transceiver functions such as military radio and signal intelligence transceivers. These enhancements to the transmit and receive functions also make the 7141-420 ideal for acquiring, processing and recording radar signals in applications such as linear and 2D phased array beamforming. Because the transmit side is capable of developing analog output signals in the same bandwidth range, it is also serves as a highly flexible radar signal generator for radar system testing, countermeasures and frequency jamming.

Narrowband DDC
The 7141-430 core provides a huge number of relatively narrowband channels, says Pentek. The company also adds that the 7141-430 is far more physically dense than any competitive product currently on the market. For example, two 7141-430 modules support 512 receive channels in a single 6U VME or cPCI slot.

Each module digitizes a 60MHz bandwidth using either of the two 125MHz A/Ds. The DDC core supports independent tuning of each channel across that bandwidth for downconversion of up to 256 different frequencies. Each signal is translated to baseband and then lowpass filtered and decimated to user selectable bandwidth. The decimation is programmable from 1024 to 9984, covering many popular communication standards.

The 7141-430 is fit for applications such as commercial and military wireless systems with a large number of frequency division multiplexed channels. It is ideal for the receive-side of communication base stations and for signal intelligence surveillance, where the objective is to capture, process and review data in a particular military or commercial frequency band.

The modules are also available in a variety of form factors including PCI, 3U and 6U cPCI, as well as a conduction-cooled PMC version. Linux and VxWorks drivers are available for the 7141-420. Windows drivers are available for the 7141-430 and Linux drivers will be available in the future.

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