Due to strong demand for what's billed as the industry's first one-slot Fibre Channel VMEbus board, board maker Pentek (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey) now offers additional I/O, memory, and realtime processing options for one of its most popular products.
For high-performance embedded applications, such as wideband data-acq or software defined radios (SDRs), Pentek's Model 4205 now features a 1-GHz clock-speed Motorola MPC7457 G4 PowerPC microprocessor, and two Xilinx Virtex-II FPGAs.
The Model 4205 is also a one-slot product, with two VIM-2 (Velocity Interface Mezzanine) modules, one VIM-4 module, or one VIM-2 and one PMC (PCI Mezzanine Card) modules.
The board also packs numerous interface options, including single or dual RACE++, Gbit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other future high-speed serial interfaces (such as Serial FPDP, or front panel data port).
Significantly, any of these interfaces can be included without exceeding the one-slot configuration.
An Alternative to RTOSs
As an alternative to commercial realtime operating systems (RTOSs), Pentek also supports the recently ported eCos royalty-free RTOS. It delivers realtime performance plus the benefit of open source code.
10X Data Transfers
"The Gbit Ethernet option boosts network data transfers by a factor of ten," claims company VP Rodger Hosking. "And, the 1-Gbyte memory option doubles the data delay and buffering capacities, critical for many realtime applications such as radar."
In addition to the standard 10/100 Ethernet and RS-232 front panel ports, the optional 1-Gbit Ethernet port permits a direct connection to high-end workstations, system peripherals, and other single-board computers. You can take advantage of the Ethernet hooks as an alternative to RACEway or Fibre Channel.
Large Data Blocks
The 1-Gbyte SDRAM option also improves data buffering by capturing large blocks of high-speed data from wideband peripherals, such as A/D converters, prior to processing or recording.
It can also be useful as a large continuous digital delay memory for tracking-receiver applications. In those types of applications, a circular buffer stores data while it's being inspected, to determine if data should be discarded or forwarded for storage or analysis.
The board's pair of Virtex-II FPGAs are XC2V3000 devices, offer 3-million gates of user programmability.
These FPGAs are also strategically located in the I/O data path to facilitate realtime DSP. Moreover, Pentek's GateFlow FPGA Resources support includes a GateFlow FPGA Design Kit to support user-developed FPGA algorithms.
Support is also included for the company's GateFlow IP Core Library for high-performance FFTs (Fast Fourier Transform), digital receivers, and radar pulse compression algorithms.
Beyond that, GateFlow Factory Installed IP Cores let you take immediate advantage of the FPGAs with no FPGA development effort.
eCos Software Tools
Pentek's ReadyFlow support tool also supports VIM and PMC mezzanine modules with high-level C-callable libraries for control of board-specific functions. In addition, ReadyFlow for the PowerPC includes a distribution of eCos.
Your eCos-based applications can be developed with included GNU development tools. Pentek's eCos drivers can also reduce development time, not only during initial stages of software development, but also when new I/O hardware is added.
Each driver is designed to control specific hardware features of the I/O interface being used. Pentek claims that this can greatly shorten the application development learning curve when a system is modified or expanded.
Wind River Support
Pentek also offers a VxWorks board support package and drivers. It provides your codesmiths with a library of hardware initialization, and control and application functions. Used in conjunction with Wind River's Tornado II software development environment, the package speeds application development.
Pricing and Availability
Pentek claims that its Model 4205 is immediately available (6-8 weeks ARO) with pricing starting at less than about $8000.
The Model 4999 ReadyFlow BSP and Drivers with eCos are immediately available for the Model 4205 starting at $1000, with a one-year subscription available for $2500.
Model 4996 VxWorks BSP and Drivers start at $2000, with a one-year subscription available for $4000.
Pentek's GateFlow IP Core Libraries are offered under a standardized SignOnce IP Project License, said to be the industry's first multi-vendor common license for FPGA-based intellectual property. The aforementioned GateFlow FFT and Digital Receiver IP Cores are immediately available starting at less than about $9000.
For more information, 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.
Be sure to go to Pentek's Web site for additional info, too.