Pentek Introduces High-Speed PCI-Based Multiband Receiver

4/1/2003 - Pentek, Inc., the industry pioneer of VME board-level technology, introduced its first in a series of PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) modules. The new 16-channel multiband digital receiver features two 14-bit 80 or 105 MHz A/Ds for direct wideband signal processing within an on-board Virtex-II FPGA (field programmable gate array). Pentek’s GateFlow tool suite supports custom FPGA configurations for user-defined signal processing functions. In addition, complete software drivers for Windows and Linux ensure quick start up, and yet allow full visibility into the low-level source code, if necessary.

Consisting of a digital receiver PMC (PCI Mezzanine Card) and a PMC-to-PCI adapter, Model 7631 is assembled and tested as a single PCI board. Model 7631 is especially attractive where traditional signal processing VME card cages are being replaced by Intel Pentium desktop computers for host-processing tasks. Engineered for radar pulse analysis, satellite communications and signal intelligence applications, the 7631 is a compelling solution.

Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc. explained, "Some of our customers, who previously used DSP chips, have been able to shift their processing tasks to Pentium platforms. For applications where real-time performance is not a critical factor, Pentek is now providing a robust solution that allows designers to work in a much lower-cost desktop environment and still take advantage of some of the renowned high-performance front-end technology from Pentek."

Flexible Configuration, Switching and Synchronization
The Model 7631 accepts two analog inputs on PCI slot panel SMA connectors, either from baseband HF sources or IF outputs from communications receivers. Each of the two inputs is transformer coupled and digitized by an AD6645 14-bit A/D converter capable of operating at sample rates up to 105 MHz. The sample clock is derived either from an internal crystal oscillator or an external clock supplied through a front panel SMA connector.

This board also includes four Graychip GC4016 quad multiband digital receiver chips driven by the 100 MHz samples from both A/Ds. A crossbar switch inside each GC4016 allows all 16-receiver channels on board to independently select either of the two A/D inputs. Each receiver chip includes four receiver channels capable of independent center frequency tuning from DC to 50 MHz with output bandwidths ranging from 4 kHz to 10 MHz.

The PCI slot panel clock/sync bus allows one 7631 to act as a master, driving the sample clock, sync and gate signals out to a front-panel cable bus using LVDS differential signaling. Up to seven slaves can then be clocked synchronously with the master. For larger systems, up to eighty Model 7631s can be synchronized with Pentek's Model 9190 Clock and Sync Generator.

A/D Bypass Mode
For high-speed data acquisition or for applications not requiring the digital receiver function, both A/D converter outputs are also connected directly to the FPGA. This supports direct wideband processing within the FPGA and also allows raw A/D data to be delivered directly to the processor board through the 64-bit 66 MHz PCI mezzanine interface.

Customer Configurable FPGA
The Model 7631 can be equipped with either XC2V1000 or XC2V3000 FPGA devices from the Xilinx Virtex-II family, offering logic densities of 1 or 3 million gates respectively. The FPGAs are factory-configured to perform standard modes of data packing, formatting and channel selection. The optional GateFlow FPGA Designer's Kit is available for custom applications to take advantage of unused resources within the FPGA. Pentek’s GateFlow IP Cores for pipelined FFTs and wideband digital receiver can be used with the design kit or installed at the factory as ready-to-use functions, eliminating the need for FPGA development by the customer. Up to 64 user-definable FGPA I/O lines are optionally available through a multi-pin DIN connector.

For the latest pricing and availability information, please contact Mario Schiavone by phone at (201) 818-5900 ext. 229, or by email to

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