Pentek Introduces SCA Compliant Software Radio Development Platform

11/15/2005 - Pentek, Inc., the industry pioneer of VME board-level technology, released a development platform containing all hardware and tools required for software-defined radio development compliant with the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) mandated for all future U.S. military radios. The Pentek SCA 2510 hardware platform consists of a Pentek 7640 software radio transceiver PCI card installed in a PC workstation. The computer is loaded with the Linux operating system, development tools and the SCARI++ SCA core framework from Communications Research Centre (CRC) Canada. The hardware and software are fully integrated to ease development. The PCI card comes pre-configured with drivers and libraries so developers can immediately begin their software-defined radio projects.

"Creating a reconfigurable radio that's adaptable to many radio standards-without the need to replace hardware-is what JTRS is all about," says Pentek vice president Rodger Hosking. "The SCA2510 Development System with fully-integrated SCA tools and core framework already in place helps JTRS hardware and software engineers reach that goal. We married a high-performance PCI transceiver card and an extensive set of supporting software libraries to the industry's most comprehensive suite of SCA development tools. The end result is a powerful, cost-effective PC-based system that extends the reach of JTRS software radio development to companies that might not have been able to afford it before."

"SCA technology is a key enabler to facilitate communications interoperability among military, police and rescue-relief teams," says Claude Bélisle, acting vice-president of Satellite Communications and Radio Propagation Research at CRC. "We are pleased to be working with industry leaders such as Pentek in the development of SDR products."

Inside the SCA 2510
The Model 7640 Dual Channel Transceiver PCI board digitizes HF or IF input signals using a pair of 14-bit, 105 MHz A/D converters and generates output signals with two 16-bit, 500 MHz D/A converters. The 7640 is also equipped with a Virtex-II Pro VP50 FPGA that serves as a control and status engine with data and programming interfaces to each of the many onboard resources, including a four-channel digital downconverter, a digital upconverter and an extremely versatile clocking and synchronization system. The FPGA is supported with a total of 512 MB DDR SDRAM for built-in buffering functions, including data capture and delay. A 64-bit 66 MHz PCI interface includes a high-performance nine-channel DMA controller to boost PCI bus transfer speeds.

The SCA 2510 software development environment is based on the SCARI++ SCA Core Framework, Component Development Library and Software Defined Radio (SDR) Development Toolset. This toolset is integrated with Pentek's SCA-compatible board support package for a complete development solution ready for radio and waveform designers.

FPGA Development Tools
Pentek offers the GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, a package that includes design information, software files and utilities for extending the base functionality of the Virtex-II Pro FPGA on the Model 7640.

Lower Cost, Full Support
Compared to proprietary development platforms, the use of a PC-based hardware platform, Linux operating system and CRC's SCA software greatly reduces the cost of entry for potential developers. The PC workstation and Pentek 7640 PCI rival the performance of larger multi-board system alternatives while reducing hardware costs. Nevertheless, since the Model 7640 architecture is identical to the 7140 PMC/XMC module, all development efforts can easily be scaled to large, multi-channel VME and cPCI systems ranging from commercial through conduction-cooled environments.

Support for the development platform also helps reduce the cost of entry by offering complete training and maintenance. Pentek provides first-line support for the hardware platform and hardware-software integration issues. CRC will train customers on the SCA and development tools and will provide ongoing upgrades and tool maintenance.

Price and Availability
Pentek's SCA 2510 Development Platform starts at $85,000 for all hardware and software tools for the first development seat. Discounts are available for additional seats. Product availability is approximately 12 weeks ARO.

The development platform is being demonstrated this week at the Software Defined Radio Forum's Technical Conference, booth 301.

JTRS and SCA Background
The Software Communications Architecture mandated by the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program office provides a software framework for the implementation of software defined radio platforms. This framework provides many features to increase the portability of waveforms by including a common operation environment and a set of common services and standardized component interfaces. For more information, visit:

About the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC)
CRC, an agency of Industry Canada, is the Canadian government's primary laboratory for research and development (R&D) in advanced telecommunications. R&D is used for public policy purposes and to strengthen the Canadian economy through technology and knowledge transfer. Under its four research branches, CRC specializes in taking an interdisciplinary approach to longer-term R&D in wireless systems, radio fundamentals, communication networks, photonics and interactive multimedia. Further details about CRC's SDR technology, which include the SCARI-Open and SCARI ++ software suites, are available at

About Pentek
Pentek develops, manufactures and markets innovative DSP systems to original equipment manufacturers, distributors and value-added resellers. Pentek offers powerful VME, VXS, PMC, XMC, cPCI and PCI boards for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing featuring Texas Instruments C6000 DSPs, Freescale G4 PowerPCs and Xilinx FPGAs. Pentek's I/O includes A/Ds, D/As, FPGAs, digital up/down converters and more. Pentek equips all products with high-performance I/O including gigabit serial interfaces and offers strong DSP software support.

Pentek 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. 766; fax 201-818-5904; email

International Sales Contacts: VSystems SA in France at 130070060, VSystems Electronic GmbH in Germany at 892737630, VSystems s.r.l. in Italy at 119661319, VSystems AB in Sweden at 84441550, VSystems UK at 1494476000, Sela Electronic Systems in Israel at 36479969 and MISH International in Japan at 425387650, Beijing BetaOne Sysjob Ltd. in China at 1082784106 and Acetronix Co. Ltd. in Korea at 24202343. Please visit for a full list of international Pentek representatives and distributors.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: