The new Model 6826 VME A/D Converter board from Pentek, Inc., is designed to boost signal bandwidth by nearly an order of magnitude, delivering single- or dual-channel data acquisition at 2 GHz samples/second with 10-bit resolution.
According to Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc., the board's ability to accept either single-ended or differential inputs preserves signal integrity across a variety of analog signal sources.
Using the using the new Atmel AT84AS008 A/D circuit, the board directly digitizes signal bandwidths up to nearly 900 MHz, and can capture wideband radar and communication signals as a single channel instead of digitizing several smaller bandwidth slices.
At the heart of the board is the Xilinx XC2VP100 Virtex-II Pro FPGA, which serves a powerful signal-processing resource for the formidable stream of data from the A/D converter.
On-board logic first de-multiplexes the 2 GHz raw 10-bit A/D samples by a factor of eight, producing 80-bit words at a reduced rate of 250 MHz for successful delivery into the FPGA.
The FPGA then performs various standard functions on the data, including memory transfers, formatting, triggering, gating and delivery to FPDP and VMEbus interfaces. It also handles the switched serial fabric VXS interface using the on-chip RocketIO gigabit serial transceivers.
Since most of the logic and DSP resources remain unused for these factory functions, developers can take advantage of these parallel processing structures to implement custom signal-processing algorithms and process captured data in real time.
To simplify FPGA development tasks, Pentek offers its GateFlow FPGA Resources, including the GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, GateFlow IP Cores Libraries and GateFlow Factory Installed IP Cores. In addition, Pentek's ReadyFlow libraries allow the user to control the Model 6826 across the backplane from SBC and DSP boards through high-level C-callable commands.
The Model 6826 also features extensive memory resources. Dual 64-bit high-speed DDR SDRAMs provide a total of 512 MB or 1 GB of memory to store raw data in transient-capture mode. The memory can also be used as an elastic buffer for storing burst signals like radar pulses in real time and subsequent delivery to the I/O interfaces at a lower continuous rate.
Custom FPGA configurations can take advantage of this large memory for more complex applications. Flash memory of 16 MB allows boot code storage for the two IBM 405 PowerPC micro-controller cores within the FPGA.
To support high-bandwidth data capture, the board includes several high-speed I/O channels to move the raw data off-board for storage or processing. Two or four channels of FPDP-II data ports, operating at up to 400 MB/second each, deliver processed and de-multiplexed data through legacy connections to other VME cards.
In addition, the board offers two serial switched-fabric VXS connections, each running full-duplex at 1.25 GB/second to support the new Xilinx Aurora, Serial RapidIO and PCI Express protocols. LVDS I/O is also available on either front or rear panel connections.
Pricing on the single-channel version of the Model 6826 starts at $15,695, with availability 14 to 16 weeks ARO.
Upper Saddle River, N.J.
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