Pentek Rolls Out Configurable Logic VIM-2 Module with Dual FPGAs

2/18/2004 - Pentek, Inc., the industry pioneer of VME board-level technology, announced a new configurable logic VIM-2 (Velocity Interface Mezzanine) module featuring dual FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) from the new high-density Xilinx Virtex-II Pro family, including Models XC2VP20 and XC2VP50. The board also incorporates FPDP (front panel data port) and LVDS (low voltage differential signals) interfaces for high-speed I/O connectivity through front-panel “personality” modules. This flexible design allows Pentek to support new I/O solutions quickly and provides users a method to easily create custom I/O modules. The industry-standard FPDP and LVDS interfaces connect to a multitude of industry standard peripherals including A/D and D/A converters, digital receivers and memory boards as well as PowerPC and C6000 processor boards.

The configurable logic FPGA and flexible high-speed I/O makes this board well suited for military and wireless real-time applications including radar, software radio, SIGINT, wideband energy detection and tracking, transient data capture and recording.

"Embedded designers can now ‘turbo charge’ their C6000 and PowerPC applications with Virtex-II Pro FPGAs from Xilinx simply by attaching our new Model 6251 mezzanine module”, said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. “With 12 million gates of configurable logic, 464 dedicated hardware multipliers and 128 MB of SDRAM, the 6251 delivers a DSP engine of unprecedented horsepower to handle intensive, real-time tasks. Dual 320 MB/sec FPDP or LVDS I/O ports and direct 400 MB/sec VIM mezzanine interfaces eliminate bottlenecks for maximum data throughput.”

Configurable FPGAs
The Model 6251 can be equipped with two XC2VP20 or two XC2VP50 FPGA devices from the Xilinx Virtex-II Pro family. Each device offers logic densities up to 6 million gates, 232 hardware multipliers and two built-in PowerPC micro controllers.

The two FPGAs are interconnected with 84 programmable user I/O lines to support data, clocking and control passing between the two devices.

Each FPGA interfaces directly to a dedicated, streaming 32-bit bi-directional FIFO parallel port feeding baseboard processors at up to 400 MB/sec. The Model 6251 can be attached to any one of seven different VIM C6000 or PowerPC processor platforms.

SDRAM Supports Delay and Transient Capture Functions
Each FPGA is optionally equipped with 64 MB of SDRAM for implementing data delay and buffering functions critical for many real time applications such as a signal intelligence tracking receiver or radar pulse transient capture and processing system. In addition, 16 MB of FLASH memory is attached to each FPGA to handle boot code and program code for the two embedded PowerPC microcontrollers.

Configurable Logic with Configurable I/O
The Model 6251 attaches to one of the two VIM-2 sites on a VIM baseboard leaving the other site available for a second VIM-2 or PMC module.

The 6251 offers multiple front-panel I/O options to handle different system needs. These include a single 32-bit LVDS, FPDP or FPDP-II I/O port connector in the first slot and an optional second I/O port connector of any type in the adjacent slot. FPDP supports a wide range of industry standard peripherals in the same card cage, while LVDS is better suited for longer interconnections.

The custom front panel options are achieved through interchangeable front end “personality modules” attached to the back end of the module where the FPGAs, memories and mezzanine interfaces are located. This flexible design makes it possible for users to create custom I/O modules including A/D and D/A modules, for example.

Development Tools for a Variety of Platforms
Pentek’s GateFlow FPGA Resources include the GateFlow FPGA Design Kit supporting custom user-developed FPGA code; the GateFlow IP Core Library for high-performance FFTs (Fast Fourier Transform), digital receivers and radar pulse compression algorithms; and GateFlow Factory Installed IP Cores so customers can take immediate advantage of FPGA technology with zero FPGA development effort.

Pentek's ReadyFlow Board Support Library is comprised of C-callable device functions that simplify board operation and setup. Functions include mezzanine board control, DMA data transfers, data formatting, and interrupt resource management. Pentek also offers device drivers for VxWorks and Linux.

Third-party and Pentek software development tools are available for a variety of platforms including Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the Model 6251 Configurable Logic and I/O VIM-2 with Virtex-II Pro FPGAs starts at $6,595 USD and is immediately available with 10-12 weeks ARO.

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 PCI 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/Ds, D/As, digital receivers and upconverters and more. Pentek equips products with interfaces like RACE++ and FPDP-II and offers strong DSP software support.

Pentek, VIM and GateFlow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pentek, Inc. in the U.S. and/or internationally.

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