XMC FPGA module for wideband signal applications

2nd April 2014
Source: Pentek Inc
Posted By : Nat Bowers
XMC FPGA module for wideband signal applications

Expanding their Onyx family of high-speed data converter XMC FPGA modules, Pentek has introduced the Onyx Model 71741. Based on the high density Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA, this one-channel, 3.6GHz 12-bit A/D or two-channel, 1.8GHz 12-bit A/D XMC module can digitise signal bandwidths up to 1500MHz.

The front end accepts analog RF or IF inputs on a pair of front panel SSMC connectors with transformer coupling into a Texas Instruments ADC12D1800 12-bit A/D. The converter operates in single-channel interleaved mode with a sampling rate of 3.6GHz and an input bandwidth of 1.75GHz or in dual-channel mode with a sampling rate of 1.8GHz and input bandwidth of 2.8GHz. A built-in AutoSync feature supports A/D synchronisation across multiple modules.

A powerful DDC IP core sets the Model 71741 apart from the competition. The DDC supports a single-channel mode, accepting data samples from the A/D converter at the full 3.6GHz rate. It also operates as a dual channel DDC when the A/D is set for two-channel 1.8GHz operation. Each DDC accepts an independent 32-bit tuning frequency setting that ranges from DC to the A/D sampling frequency. In single-channel mode, decimation can be programmed to 8x, 16x or 32x. In dual-channel mode, both channels share the same decimation rate, programmable to 4x, 8x or 16x.

The Model 71741 comes preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for data capture, synchronisation, time tagging and formatting, making the board an ideal turn-key interface for radar, communications or general data acquisition applications. The Model 71741 features an A/D acquisition IP module for easy capture and data moving. These IP modules greatly enhance the functionality of the Model 71741 and reduce the development time and effort to module deployment.

As compared to the proven design in the Cobalt Virtex-6 family, architectural enhancements in the Onyx family include a doubling of the DDR3 memory in both size and speed to 4GB and 1600MHz, respectively. The PCIe interface has been upgraded to Gen 3, delivering peak transfer rates up to 8GB/s. The Virtex-7 is more power efficient than previous generations making it easier to utilise larger FPGAs. Optional LVDS and gigabit serial connections to the Virtex-7 are available for connecting to custom high performance I/O.

GateXpressPCIe Configuration Manager is a sophisticated FPGA-PCIe hardware engine for managing FPGA reconfiguration. At power up, the GateXpress manager immediately presents a PCIe target to the host computer for discovery and enumeration, giving the FPGA time to load from FLASH. Once booted, the GateXpress manager offers multiple options for dynamically reconfiguring the FPGA with a new IP image, handling the hardware negotiation and streamlining the loading task. GateXpress also allows dynamic FPGA reconfiguration though software commands as part of the runtime application.

For systems that require custom functions, IP can be developed using the Pentek GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, extending or even replacing the factory-installed functions. Software support packages are available for Linux and Windows operating systems.

The Model 71741 XMC module is designed for both rugged and COTS environments and is available in cPCI (Models 73741 and 72741), AMC Model (56741), PCIe (Model 78641) and VPX (Models 52741 & 53741). The XMC module with 4GB memory starts at $22,695 (USD). Additional FPGA options are available. Delivery is 8-10 weeks ARO.

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