LONDON – RF Engines Ltd. has introduced ChannelCore Flex, is an ultrawide band channelizer in the form of IP that can be licensed and loaded onto an FPGA.
ChannelCore Flex is capable of being configured to support many thousands of channels, spanning an input bandwidth exceeding 1 GHz. Importantly, these channels can have individual bandwidths that can vary by several orders of magnitude, be overlapped to accommodate broadband transmissions, and have centre frequencies and sample rates that can be independently tuneable to sub-Hertz resolution
RFEL (Newport, Isle-of-Wight, England) anticipates that the ChannelCore Flex will find widespread application in areas including Electronic Surveillance, satellite communications and future Base Station architectures, where simultaneous monitoring, detection and demodulation of a mixture of disparate communication channels, such as WiMax and GSM, using a single architecture are a definitive requirement.
"ChannelCore Flex delivers advanced features that are the culmination of over ten years of design and implementation experience and delivers the ability to do things that previously could not be done or required huge resources," explained John Summers, RFEL's CEO, in a statement.
Channelization is a relatively straight forward signal-processing task and is usually done using a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). However, this can only be done with limitations: the channels all have equal bandwidths, which is inflexible and problematic when processing different types of transmissions concurrently.
In the ChannelCore Flex it is possible to individually tailor the bandwidth of individual channels, the position of center frequencies. The end result is a channelizer that can be configured to support concurrent monitoring of multiple channels, with bandwidths ranging from as large as hundreds of megahertz, to as narrow as a few hertz, delivering an overall aggregate channelized sample rate that can exceed 1Gs/s.
RFEL has resolved this problem by producing an IP core that is compile and run-time programmable from a simple set of parameters derived from the user's technical specification.
ChannelCore Flex is available for licensing now for implementation in a wide range of Xilinx or Altera FPGA devices. Supplied as a netlist, the IP fits on medium-sized FPGAs. For example, a solution for a 200-MHz input with 500 channels ranging from 5-kHz to 5-MHz would fit on a $100 device. Prices are dependent on each implementation’s specific set of requirements, but typically fall in the range of $10,000 to $40,000.
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