Pentek Debuts Linux 2.4 Drivers for 16-Channel PCI, PMC Digital Receivers

12/2/2003 - Pentek, Inc., the industry pioneer of VME board-level technology, announced the availability of the Model 4994 Linux kernel v2.4 drivers. These drivers provide developers complete access to the capabilities of the hardware through driver calls for Pentek's PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) boards and PMC (PCI Mezzanine Card) modules. Many Linux applications, including image, audio, voice and signal intelligence processing are now emerging as value-added features in high-performance embedded products.

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 (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). The PCI board brings software radio functionality to the world of desktop computers, while the PMC module attaches to a wide range of Pentium or PowerPC single-board computers.

"Due to dramatic gains in clock speeds, many real-time signal processing tasks formerly handled by DSPs are now migrating to workstation processors. These platforms are much less expensive and Linux is gaining significant ground as the operating system (OS) of choice for several good reasons," said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc. "Engineers can scale the Linux kernel to minimize unnecessary overhead, customize OS functions for special needs and often save significant runtime licensing costs. Our new Linux drivers allow customers to realize all of these benefits for two of our most popular software radio products."

Pentek Drivers for Linux
Pentek 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 the specific hardware features of the I/O interface being used. As a bonus, these 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 greatly shortens the application development learning curve when a system is modified or expanded.

16-Channel Multiband Receiver PMC Module with A/Ds and FPGA
Since the 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 downconverters, are coupled with FPGA technology to deliver one of the densest and most flexible boards in software radio today.

The Model 7131 accepts two analog inputs on front-panel SMA connectors, either from baseband HF sources or IF outputs from communications receivers. Both inputs are transformer-coupled to Analog Devices AD6645 14-bit A/D converters capable of operating at sampling rates up to 105 MHz. Four Texas Instruments/Graychip GC4016 quad digital receivers accept samples from both 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 new wideband modulation signals.

New Software Radio Solutions for Desktop Linux Workstations
The same features and resources offered by the 7131 PMC module have been adapted to the Model 7631 PCI board, opening up a wide range of possibilities for PC-based solutions. Pentium and PowerPC workstations running Linux can now take advantage of this extremely powerful software radio front end for telecom, signal intelligence, radar and satellite communications applications.

User Programmable FPGAs
Pentek's GateFlow FPGA Resources include the GateFlow FPGA Design Kit supporting customer-developed FPGA algorithms, the GateFlow IP Core Library for high-performance FFTs (Fast Fourier Transform), digital receivers and radar pulse compression algorithms, and GateFlow Factory Installed IC Cores so customers can take immediate advantage of FPGA technology with zero FPGA development effort.

Pricing & Availability
The Model 4994 Linux v2.4 kernel drivers are immediately available for the Pentek Model 7631 PCI and Model 7131 PMC modules. Linux driver support starts at $1,500 US. A one-year subscription is also available for $2,500 US.

About Pentek
Pentek develops, manufactures and markets innovative DSP systems to original equipment manufacturers, distributors and value-added resellers. Pentek offers powerful VME, PMC, VIM and VXI boards for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing featuring Texas Instrument's C6000 DSPs, Motorola's G4 PowerPC and Xilinx FPGAs. Pentek's I/O includes A/D's, D/A's, digital receivers, digital upconverters and more. Pentek equips its products with high-performance interfaces including RACE++ and FPDP-II and offers strong DSP software support.

Pentek, VIM and GateFlow are registered trademarks of Pentek, Inc.

North American Sales Contact: Mario Schiavone, Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458-2311; telephone 201-818-5900, ext. 760; fax 201-818-5904; email; website Sales Contacts: VSystems SA in France at 130070060, VSystems Electronic GmbH in Germany at 892737630, VSystems s.r.l. in Italy at 11.966 1319, VSystems AB in Sweden at 84441550, VSystems UK at 1142813123, WTI in Israel at 99-563163 and MISH International in Japan at 42-538-7650.

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