Customers Blaze with Pentek Model 6826 VME A/D Converter Board

5/18/2005 - Pentek customers can now boost signal bandwidth by nearly an order of magnitude with the release of the Model 6826 VME A/D Converter board. The Model 6826 features single- or dual-channel data acquisition at a blazing 2 GHz samples/second with 10-bit resolution using the new Atmel AT84AS008 A/D device. The board’s ability to accept either single-ended or differential inputs preserves signal integrity across a variety of analog signal sources.

“For our customers, this product opens up a whole new range of previously unavailable frequencies and applications,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc. “It allows them to directly digitize signal bandwidths up to nearly 900 MHz, so they can capture wideband radar and communication signals as a single channel instead of digitizing several smaller bandwidth slices. The inclusion of the Virtex-II Pro FPGA is essential for processing these large bandwidth signals to extract information and reduce the data rates to a manageable level within the system.”

"We are pleased Pentek has chosen Atmel's new 10-bit 2.2 GHz A/D chip for their new Model 6826," said Ron Duda, North America marketing manager for Atmel's Hi-Rel product line. "The AT84AS008 combines dynamic performance, compactness and ease-of-use, allowing improved system-development speed on Pentek's high-performance VME board."

On-Board Signal Processing With a density equivalent of more than 11 million system gates, the Xilinx XC2VP100 Virtex-II Pro FPGA offers a powerful signal-processing resource for the formidable stream of data from the A/D converters. On-board logic first de-multiplexes the 2 GHz raw 10-bit A/D samples by a factor of eight, producing 80-bit words at a reduced rate of 250 MHz for successful delivery into the FPGA. The FPGA then performs various standard functions on the data, including memory transfers, formatting, triggering, gating and delivery to FPDP and VMEbus interfaces. It also handles the switched serial fabric VXS interface using the on-chip RocketIO gigabit serial transceivers.

Since most of the logic and DSP resources remain unused for these factory functions, developers can take advantage of these parallel processing structures to implement custom signal-processing algorithms and process captured data in real time. To simplify FPGA development tasks, Pentek offers its GateFlow FPGA Resources, including the GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, GateFlow IP Cores Libraries and GateFlow Factory Installed IP Cores. In addition, Pentek’s ReadyFlow libraries allow the user to control the Model 6826 across the backplane from SBC and DSP boards through high-level C-callable commands.

Extensive Memory Supports Transient Capture and Buffering The Model 6826 also features extensive memory resources. Dual 64-bit high-speed DDR SDRAMs provide a total of 512 MB or 1 GB of memory to store raw data in transient-capture mode. The memory can also be used as an elastic buffer for storing burst signals like radar pulses in real time and subsequent delivery to the I/O interfaces at a lower continuous rate. Custom FPGA configurations can take advantage of this large memory for more complex applications. Flash memory of 16 MB allows boot code storage for the two IBM 405 PowerPC micro-controller cores within the FPGA.

Wideband Output Interface Options
To support high-bandwidth data capture, the board includes several high-speed I/O channels to move the raw data off-board for storage or processing. Two or four channels of FPDP-II data ports, operating at up to 400 MB/second each, deliver processed and de-multiplexed data through legacy connections to other VME cards. In addition, the board offers two serial switched-fabric VXS connections, each running full-duplex at 1.25 GB/second to support the new Xilinx Aurora, Serial RapidIO and PCI Express protocols. LVDS I/O is also available on either front or rear panel connections.

Pricing & Availability
The single-channel version of the Model 6826 starts at $19,345 US, with availability starting at 14 to 16 weeks ARO. For more information on the Model 6826, visit Pentek’s website at

About Pentek
Pentek develops, manufactures and markets innovative Digital Signal Processing, Software Radio and Data Acquisition boards and systems to distributors, systems integrators and value-added resellers. Pentek offers powerful VME, VXS, PMC, XMC and cPCI boards and systems featuring Texas Instruments C6000 DSPs, Motorola G4 PowerPCs and Xilinx FPGAs. Pentek's I/O includes A/Ds, D/As, digital receivers and upconverters and more. Pentek equips products with high-performance interfaces including gigabit serial links, RACE++ and FPDP-II and offers strong DSP software support.

Pentek, ReadyFlow 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. 756; fax 201-818-5904; email, website

International Sales Contacts:
VSystems SA in France at 13007 0060, VSystems Electronic GmbH in Germany at 89 273 7630, VSystems s.r.l. in Italy at 11.966 1319, VSystems Scandinavia in Sweden at 8 444 15 50, VSystems UK at 1494 476000, WTI in Israel at 99-563163 and MISH International in Japan at 42-538-7650.

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