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High-speed data converter suits radar, telemetry

Posted: 04 Dec 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:data converter  FPGA  PCIe 

Pentek's 71620

Pentek debuts 71620, a multichannel, high-speed data converter XMC module suitable for connection to HF or IF ports for communications, radar, telemetry and medical systems. This new module is the first member of Pentek's Cobalt family of products slated to employ Xilinx's new Virtex-6 family. With greater than 2x more resources than previous Virtex generations, including new enhancements in digital signal processing, logic, and clocking technology, the Virtex-6 family delivers the industry's most advanced FPGA technology.

"This new module provides our customers with a much denser fabric for supporting complex applications," noted Rodger Hosking, VP of Pentek. "Aside from the performance of the Virtex-6 FPGA, and the additional logic available for custom IP installation over the previous generation, its three wideband analogue inputs and two wideband analogue outputs directly target a wide range of radar and telemetry applications. For larger systems, this new module is equipped with a built-in clock synthesiser and multi-channel synchronisation capabilities," he concluded.

"The logic density and substantial DSP resources of Virtex-6 FPGAs make them ideal for Pentek's newest high-speed data converter module," said Xilinx senior manager, Platform Solutions, Raj Seelam. "The latest Virtex family consumes 50 per cent less power than the previous generation of Virtex FPGAs, allowing Pentek to support even the largest parts in the family. Pentek has also taken full advantage of the built-in PCIe functionality of the Virtex-6 devices, using it as the primary board interface while also providing a secondary path for user installed protocols, like Aurora, to enhance board-to-board connectivity."

Powerful analogue front end
The Pentek 71620 analogue front end features three Texas Instruments ADS5485 200MHz 16bit A/Ds delivering excellent dynamic range and an input bandwidth of 350 MHz, ideal for signal intelligence, radar, beamforming and undersampling applications.

In addition, a dual channel TI DAC5688 800 MHz 16bit D/A provides two wideband analogue outputs. Built-in 2x, 4x and 8x interpolation filters and a digital up-converter translate real or complex base band input signals to any IF centre frequency up to 360MHz, making the dual D/A extremely flexible for generating many popular communications and radar signals.

Four separate DRAM banks of 256MB each are larger than previous designs. These multiple banks offer flexibility in dedicating separate resources to I/O streams and processor requirements, eliminating the overhead associated with arbitrating for a single, shared bank.

While synchronous SDRAM offers a fast, extremely dense memory, its architecture shares a data path for reading and writing. In some applications this shared path creates a bottleneck. To address this, the 71620 can be optioned with QDRII+ SRAM offering very efficient memory with separate read and write interfaces. The QDRII+ banks are each 8MB deep and provide an ideal memory resource for structures like data streaming FIFOs, an integral part of the board's advanced DMA engines.

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