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PCIe boards deliver fast interconnect links

Posted: 30 Jan 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PCIe board? PCI Express? connectivity option? interconnect link?

7700 family

Pentek Inc. has developed a new family of software-defined radio products that feature the PCIe form factor with advanced connectivity options.

The 7700 family is comprised of five products7741, 7742, 7750, 7751 and 7752each offering a unique set of software radio features in a full-length PCIe board with the latest Gen 2 PCIe x16 interface. This emerging standard for high-end PCs, blade servers and enterprise computers delivers fast interconnect links for economical, high-performance system solutions.

"Pentek's new PCIe product line leverages this technology for our most popular designs," said Rodger Hosking, VP of Pentek. "By using numerous gigabit serial links, our design engineers have boosted effective data throughput between modules and the motherboard to minimize bottlenecks. In addition, our customers gain new options for FPGA connectivity and system topology. These high-density, PCIe solutions specifically target software radio, radar, telemetry and signal intelligence applications."

Since the 7700 boards are full-length PCIe boards, they incorporate up to two PMC/XMC modules, all within a single PCIe envelope. This doubles the channel count of earlier models, and delivers a lot of performance in a very small volume. Customers can utilize the PCIe interface for motherboard connections and XMC interfaces for gigabit links between modules and other boards. This flexibility also allows users to build high-speed multi-board PC systems at relatively low costs.

Software radio board features
Each of the five software radio boards offers specific resources including channel count, bandwidth, FPGA population and more. This allows customers to choose exactly what they need for very cost-effective, high-density solutions.

The 7741 includes up to four 125MHz, 14bit A/Ds and four 500MHz 16bit D/As. It features one or two TI/Graychip GC4016 quad digital down converters with output bandwidths up to 10MHz, and one or two digital up converters that accept baseband real or complex data streams with signal bandwidths up to 40MHz. One or two Xilinx XC2VP50 Virtex-II Pro FPGAs serve as control and status engines with data and programming interfaces to each of the on-board resources, including the ADCs, digital down converters, digital up converters and DACs.

The 7742 includes up to eight 125MHz, 14bit A/Ds, two up converters and two 500MHz 16bit D/As. The 7742 architecture also includes up to four Virtex-4 FPGAs. The 7750, on the other hand, includes up to eight 200MHz, 16bit A/Ds, up to 3Mbyte of SDRAM, and up to four Virtex-5 FPGAs.

The 7751 is a 512-channel digital down converter with up to eight 200MHz A/Ds and up to four Virtex-5 FPGAs. This represents a tremendous amount of processing power in a single PCIe slot. It features independent tuning for each DDC channel and decimation from 128 to 1024 in steps of 64.

Finally, the 7752 is a 64-channel down converter with up to eight 200MHz, 16bit A/Ds and up to four Virtex-5 FPGAs. Each group of four A/Ds is supported by a high-performance 32-channel digital downconverter. DDC decimation ranges from 16 to 8192 in steps of 8.

Software support
Another feature common to all the boards in the Pentek 7700 family is the 4-pin disk drive power connector to ensure that the boards receive ample power from the host computer or server. This augments the power supplied through the PCIe backplane connector.

In addition, the 7741, 7742 and 7750 have user-configurable FPGAs, and Pentek supports customers with the GateFlow design kits. Since the 7751 and 7752 have preinstalled FPGA digital down converter IP cores, they do not require user programmability.

Pricing for boards in Pentek's 7700 series begins at $13,490; delivery is eight to 10 weeks ARO. ReadyFlow board support packages for Linux and Windows are available for all boards.

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