SAN JOSE, Calif. – Pentek Inc. (Upper Saddle River, NJ) is sampling XMC modules using Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGAs, claiming the Onyx boards deliver nearly double the performance and bandwidth of its Cobalt Virtex-6 boards.
First product in the planned Onyx family is the Model 71760, a four-channel, 200 MHz A/D module. It targets high-end comms and radar applications.
Onyx boards support 4 Gbytes of 1,600 MHz DDR3 DRAM. The company aims to deliver 12 Onyx products in 2012.
High-density GSM networks now pack as many as 174 channels in a base station with LTE pushing even higher. Meanwhile radar is using wider bandwidths--sometimes several hundred MHz in pulse width frequencies--so it's also DSP intensive, said Rodger Hosking, a co-founder and vice president of Pentek.
With the move from its 45 nm Virtex-6 to the 28 nm Virtex-7, Xilinx is expanding from support of 2,016 DSP elements to 3,800 elements in the current Virtex-7 and eventually upgrading to 5,280 DSPs per chip. At the same time, the chips are shifting from I/O throughput of 4 Gbytes/s using PCI Express Gen 2 bus on Virtex-6 to 8 Gbytes/s over a PCIe Gen 3 link on Virtex-7.
The Virtex-7 will concentrate the horsepower into smaller space at lower power and thus enable smaller packages to go into unmanned vehicles and other space- and weight-constrained apps, said Hosking. "It's more about the size, weight and power of the app being shrunk down," he said
The first modules use XMC, a gigabit serial extension of the PICMG standard PCI Mezzanine Card. Other versions in the works will support PCIe, cPCI, AMC, and VPX formats.
Pentek expects to release ruggedized and extended temperature versions of the Model 71670 later in 2012. The Model 71760 XMC module starts at $15,995.
Pentek is starting to sample boards based on engineering samples of the Virtex-7. Full production for the chips and boards is expected in the summer.
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