VMEbus board vendor Pentek (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey) debuts some exciting new Linux kernel v2.4 drivers. These drivers provide you with access to the capabilities of the hardware through driver calls for Pentek's PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) boards and PMC (PCI Mezzanine Card) modules.
Applications include Linux systems for image, audio, voice, and signal intelligence processing.
First in a series of Linux-supported Pentek boards are the Model 7631 PCI board and the Model 7131 PMC module. Both feature two A/D converters, 16 multi-band receiver channels, and user-programmable Virtex-II FPGAs. The PCI board brings software radio functions to desktop computers. The PMC module can attach to Pentium or PowerPC single-board computers.
"Due to dramatic gains in clock speeds, many realtime signal processing tasks formerly handled by DSPs are now migrating to workstation processors," notes Pentek VP Rodger Hosking. "Linux is gaining significant ground as the operating system of choice.
"You can scale the Linux kernel to minimize unnecessary overhead," adds Hosking. "You can customize operating system functions for special needs, too, and often save significant runtime licensing costs.
"These Linux drivers permit developers to realize these benefits for two popular software radio products."
Hosking adds that the Linux drivers are designed to reduce development time---not only during the initial stages of software development, but also when new I/O hardware is added to the system. Each driver is designed to control specific hardware features of the I/O interface.
The drivers are built with a consistent style and parameter naming convention, so that similar parameters on different I/O modules have nearly identical driver calls. This shortens the application development learning curve when a system is modified or expanded.
Since Pentek's Model 7131 is a PMC module, it can be attached to any processor board with one or more PMC sites. Two 105-MHz 14-bit A/D converters, plus four quad-digital-down-converters, are coupled with FPGAs to deliver a dense and flexible board.
The Model 7131 accepts two analog inputs through front-panel-mounted SMA connectors, either from baseband HF sources or IF outputs from communications receivers. Both inputs are transformer-coupled to Analog Devices Type AD6645 14-bit A/D converters. They're capable of operating at sampling rates up to 105-MHz.
Four Texas Instruments/Graychip Type GC4016 quad digital receivers accept samples from both Analog Devices A/Ds. Each of the 16 receiver channels can be independently tuned to center frequencies from DC to 40-MHz, with output bandwidths ranging from 4-kHz to 2.5-MHz. A special channel-combining mode boosts the bandwidth to 10-MHz to handle wideband modulation signals.
Linux Workstations, Too
The same features and resources offered by the 7131 PMC module are adapted to Pentek's Model 7631 PCI board, opening up a range of possibilities for PC-based designs. Pentium and PowerPC workstations running Linux can take advantage of this software radio front-end, using it for telecom, signal intelligence, radar, and satellite communications applications.
Development Support's In Place
Pentek's GateFlow FPGA Resources software include the firm's GateFlow FPGA Design Kit. It supports OEM-developed FPGA algorithms. A GateFlow IP Core Library supports FFTs, digital receivers, and radar pulse-compression algorithms. Pentek's GateFlow Factory Installed IC Cores let EEs take immediate advantage of FPGAs with no development effort.
The Model 4994 Linux v2.4 kernel drivers are immediately available for Pentek's Model 7631 PCI and Model 7131 PMC modules. Linux driver support starts at $1500. A one-year subscription is also available for $2500.
For more details, contact Mario Schiavone at Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458-2311. Phone: (201) 818-5900, ext. 760. Fax: (201) 818-5904. E-mail: email@example.com. Or, visit the company's Web site.