Greater Performance and Higher Levels of Signal Quality Achieved with New Pentek A/D and FPGA

1/21/2003 - The industry pioneer of VME board-level technology, Pentek, Inc., introduced a new A/D VIM-2 (Velocity Interface Mezzanine) module based on Analog Devices new 14-bit monolithic A/D converter, the AD6645-105. Operating at sampling rates up to 105 MHz, the Model 6236 delivers two additional bits of resolution over its 12-bit predecessor for improved signal-to-noise performance. The new two-channel VIM-2 board enables multi-carrier software radio architectures in wireless base stations to achieve higher levels of signal quality as well as to keep pace with future wideband air interface standards.

The Model 6236 also features a configurable XC2V1000 or XC2V3000 FPGA (field programmable gate array) from the new high-density Xilinx Virtex-II family. Both A/D converter outputs are connected directly to the FPGA to facilitate compute-intensive signal processing functions within the module. The FPGA can deliver either wideband A/D data or processed results directly to the processor board through dual 400 MB/sec mezzanine interfaces. With this new A/D converter and more than 3 million system gates of Xilinx Virtex-II configurable logic, the Model 6236 can achieve new levels of system performance and tackle applications that were previously out of reach.

"More than ever, our system integration customers need products with extreme flexibility. With its higher speed, added resolution and user-configurable FPGA, our new 6236 is the right answer for today’s market.” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc. “It’s our mandate to offer products with enough flexibility to address not only the program at hand, but also programs to come.”

Optional FPGA Enhancements: GateFlow
Pentek’s GateFlow FPGA Design Kit streamlines custom FPGA development tasks to take advantage of the generous FPGA resources available in the Virtex-II devices. Ideal for customer implementation of signal processing functions such as convolution, framing, pattern recognition and decompression, the design kit includes VHDL source code for all board interfaces, project files and utilities so the developer can easily implement his algorithm.

GateFlow Installed Cores feature Pentek's streamlined FFTs (Fast Fourier Transform), digital receivers and other popular functions that are optionally installed within the FPGA at the factory. This saves development time and offers highly-optimized, ready-to-use solutions. Utilizing proprietary block memory architecture, the GateFlow FFT executes a pipelined complex 4k-point radix-4 FFT in less than 10 usec, or four times the real-time rate. On the Model 6236 with two 105 MHz A/D converters, real-time FFTs are computed for both channels with 50 percent input overlap processing and zero data loss. A 1k-point version of the FFT is also available. Since these GateFlow FFT execution speeds are more than ten times faster than an optimized FFT algorithm running on a 400 MHz G4 PowerPC, they can offload these tasks from the processor to dramatically slash system costs.

Optional Digital Downconverters
The 6236 offers two different wideband digital downconverters options, both with decimation ranges from 2 to 64. The user can choose two Graychip GC1012B digital receiver ASICs or add Pentek’s GateFlow Wideband Digital Receiver Installed FPGA Core. The GateFlow receiver core is a high-performance FPGA implementation of the GC1012B, featuring improved dynamic range and programmable filter coefficients.

Compatible Product Lines
The Model 6236 attaches directly to all of Pentek’s quad C6000 DSP and PowerPC boards and can be easily combined with a multitude of compatible PMC and VIM I/O products, including high-speed A/Ds, FPDP (front panel data port), RACEway, digital upconverters, all within a single VMEbus slot.

Development Tools for a Variety of Platforms
ReadyFlow consists of C-callable device functions that simplify board operation and setup. Some of the functions include mezzanine board control, DMA data transfers, data formatting and interrupt resource management. When the Model 6236 is attached to Pentek’s Quad C6000 DSP boards, it is supported by Pentek's ReadyFlow® Board Support Libraries, which are fully compatible with Texas Instruments Code Composer and Code Composer Studio development environments. When used with Pentek's Model 4294 or Pentek’s Model 4205 PowerPC boards, a VxWorks Board Support Package is available from Pentek, which includes device drivers compatible with Wind River's VxWorks Tornado II development environment.

SwiftNet® is based on an API (applications programming interface) that provides a uniform host-to-target link. SwiftNet allows multiple users to access any combination of DSP boards, so that workgroups linked by Ethernet or the Internet can communicate freely from local workstations or remote sites.

Third-party and Pentek software development tools are available for a variety of platforms including Sun SPARC workstations running Solaris, PC's running Windows 98/NT.

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