Upper Saddle River, N.J. - Pentek Inc.'s model 6228 VIM-2 (velocity interface mezzanine) module delivers high-performance transmit functions for software-radio systems, thanks in large part to its use of two new Texas Instruments DAC5686 wideband interpolating digital-to-analog converters with integrated upconverters and a Xilinx Virtex-II XC2V1000 or 3000 FPGA for custom programming, according to Pentek.
The VIM-2 unit is capable of operating as a four-channel, 500-MHz 16-bit D/A converter, or as a two-channel digital upconverter delivering bandwidths up to 160 MHz through single-sideband or quadrature outputs. This equates to twice as many D/A converters at twice the sampling rate, with four more bits of resolution, than in Pentek's previous model.
The module attaches directly to a wide range of TI's TMS320C6000 platform of DSPs and G4 PowerPC processor board platforms for the VMEbus. "By deploying the new TI wideband upconverter in an extremely powerful architecture of DSP and FPGA resources, this product will bring a new level of performance to software-radio systems," said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek.
The 6228 is targeted for high-performance, reconfigurable transceiver systems requiring wide bandwidth and flexible modulation modes. It's aimed at such applications as government radar, countermeasure and advanced multichannel communications systems, as well as next-generation wireless communications for cell phones and local-area networking. Able to synthesize extremely complex wideband modulation signals, the module is said to provide an excellent platform for generating new waveforms for testing the latest software-defined radio receiver systems.
Four SMA connectors on the front panel deliver transformer-coupled 50-ohm analog outputs from the four D/A converters. These outputs are suitable for direct connection to the IF inputs of popular RF upconverters and transmitters. The front-panel clock and sync bus allow one 6228 to act as a master, driving the sample clock out to a front-panel cable bus using low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS). Multiple slave 6228 modules can then be clocked synchronously with the master. Additional LVDS sync lines allow synchronization and triggering of various board functions. For larger systems, up to 80 modules can be synchronized using Pentek's Model 9190 Clock and Sync Generator.
A Xilinx Virtex-II FPGA is strategically located between the two VIM mezzanine interfaces and the two TI DAC5686 D/A converters. It provides control, status, timing and data-formatting functions and delivers four complete channels of 16-bit data samples from the processor platform directly into the DAC5686s. An auxiliary FPGA I/O connector supports external digital input/output signals for control, formatting and board-to-board communication functions.
Using the GateFlow Design Kit, customers can take advantage of unused RAM and multiplier resources within the FPGA to implement custom filtering or modulation algorithms, interpolation filters and encryption routines. Arbitrary waveform generators and complex frequency synthesizers can also be implemented in the FPGA to offload these tasks from the baseboard processor.
The GateFlow FPGA Design Kit provides designers with all VHDL source code and device configuration for the basic factory-installed functions to facilitate the addition of custom algorithms. Also available are Pentek's GateFlow intellectual-property cores, including wideband digital receivers, fast Fourier transform and pulse-compression algorithms.
Pentek's ReadyFlow Board Support Libraries of C-callable device functions for the processor platform are supplied with all I/O modules. Board operation and setup are simplified through easy-to-use function calls, Pentek said, while still providing the flexibility and power of low-level access to all of the board's hardware. Pentek software development tools plus third-party offerings are available for a variety of platforms including PCs running Windows 98, NT, 2000 and XP, and Sun Sparcstations running Solaris. Pricing for the Model 6228 four-channel digital upconverter, D/A and FPGA VIM-2 module starts at $4,995. Modules are available 12 to 14 weeks ARO.
Call (201) 818-5900, ext. 758