Upper Saddle River, New JerseyBoard maker Pentek, Inc. is pre-announcing the latest product in its RTS Family of realtime data recording and playback platforms. The RTSs feature a range of A/D (analog-to-digital) and D/A (digital-to-analog) resources, with high-speed links to cost-effective JBOD (just a bunch of disks) storage systems.
When it ships later this year, the company's RTS 2504 will use Pentek's existing 7140 PMC (PCI mezzanine card) radio transceiver module. The module acquires live IF or RF analog signals for disk storage. It then plays back the captured signal files through D/A converters to deliver IF or RF analog outputs.
The system is for high-bandwidth data recording and playback applications such as radar, direction finding, SIGINT (signals intelligence), telemetry, and commercial wireless base stations. It includes an Ethernet link to Windows host PCs.
An RTS 2504 occupies a single 6U-sized VME bus slot, permitting as many as 20 units to fit into a standard cardcage. You can also synchronize multiple modules to create a single system with as many as 40 transceiver channels.
The RTS 2504 programmable development platform also runs multiple FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays). The multiple FPGAs let you readily add signal processing as needed, and they handle formatting and data manipulation functions. This is accomplished directly within the data path, for both input and output channels.
The RTS 2504 also clocks Pentek’s Model 4205 I/O processor. It runs a 1-GHz Motorola MPC7457 G4 PowerPC chip, working in conjunction with the system’s FPGAs.
Pentek supports FPGA development with its GateFlow FPGA Design Kit. The kit includes design information, software files, optimized DSP (digital signal processing) functions, and development utilities.
In addition, intellectual property (IP) cores can be pre-installed at the factory, essentially equating to zero development effort. Pentek's GateFlow IP cores include wideband and narrowband digital down converters, FFTs (fast Fourier transforms), and pulse-compression algorithms.
Pentek's previous transceiver system required two different mezzanine cards, but the 7140 combines all functions in a single transceiver PMC module, freeing a mezzanine site for additional functions. New resources inside the 7140 include a Xilinx Virtex-II Pro FPGA with on-board processors and Gbit serial interfaces, plus 512-Mbytes of on-board SDRAM.
Like other RTS Family members, this latest RTS 2504 benefits from Pentek's SystemFlow API (applications programming interface) and development library software. This ensures a consistent look-and-feel for developers across all RTS platforms. What's more, source code (and the provided API) let you either modify example code to meet your needs, or use it as a reference for custom software development.
SystemFlow lets you configure and customize the unit's interfaces and behaviors. It not only includes code for the system's realtime data acquisition and playback system, but also for user control software running on a host PC, including a GUI (graphical user interface).
Inside The Box
The RTS 2504 platform accepts input RF through two 14-bit A/Ds, sampling at up to 105-MHz. It then passes the acquired signals to the Virtex-II Pro FPGA for signal processing and data handling.
The FPGA works in conjunction with a 4-channel Graychip/Texas Instruments GC4016 digital receiver to extract and tune narrowband channels with bandwidths ranging from audio up to 2.5-MHz.
Note that the TI GC4016 supports supported GSM, IS-136, CDMA, EDGE, and third-generation UMTS/CDMA2000-3x air interface standards. The device provides four digital receiver channels, with each capable of digitally down-converting and filtering signals of interest from wideband sources at sample rates up to 100-Msamples/s.
A GC4016 can optionally support four CDMA channels with 4x over-sampling, or two CDMA channels with 8x over-sampling, or a single wideband 5-MHz-bandwidth channel for UMTS/CDMA2000-3x systems.
Each GC4016 receiver channel features a digital oscillator, mixer, decimating filter, gain stage, and digital re-sampler.
The latter function permits output sample rates to be precisely specified independent of clock rate. This simplifies the design of multiple air interface standard base stations, as each channel can be programmed with a different bandwidth/rate.
Back to the RTS 2504 platform itself. For applications that require even wider bandwidths, Pentek offers its GateFlow IP Core 421. It's a digital down-converter that can be factory-installed on the 7140 PMC module. It delivers output bandwidths up to 45-MHz.
For high channel-count applications, Pentek offers its GateFlow IP Core 430, It provides up to 256 digital down-converter channels, with programmable bandwidths from 8-kHz to 80-kHz.
The unit can send output data through a built-in FibreChannel interface. That lets the system record data on a hard-disk array at speeds up to 160-Mbytes/s.
In addition to the receiver section, the RTS 2504 offers a transmit section with interpolation filters, a digital up-converter, and two 16-bit D/A converters. Drawing data from the associated disk array, or other I/O, the system's up-converter mode supports frequency translation of baseband signals to IF frequencies as high as 160-MHz, delivering either real or I/Q (in-phase and quadrature) analog outputs.
In the D/A mode, two independent playback channels are interpolated, and then delivered to the D/A converters at sampling rates up to 500-MHz.
For more details contact Mario Schiavone at (201) 818-5900 ext. 229, or by email to email@example.com.
Click here for a brief datasheet with block diagram (in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format).
The RTS 2504 is priced starting at about $27,000, and will ship in the third quarter of this year. If you don't already have SystemFlow, it costs about $8500.
For more details contact Mario Schiavone or Rodger Hosking at Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458-2311. Phone 201-818-5900, Ext. 767. Fax: 201-818-5904. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Internationally, contact VSystems SA in France at 130070060. Contact VSystems Electronic GmbH in Germany at 892737630. Contact VSystems s.r.l. in Italy at 119661319.
Contact VSystems AB in Sweden at 84441550. Contact VSystems UK at 1494476000. Contact Sela Electronic Systems in Israel at 36479969. Contact MISH International in Japan at 425387650. Contact Beijing BetaOne Sysjob Ltd. in China at 1082784106. Contact Acetronix Co. Ltd. in Korea at 24202343.
Pentek, 201-818-5900, www.pentek.com