VME Board Solution for Synchronization and Distribution of Timing Signals

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Developers often need to synchronize large number of multiple channels to satisfy their system requirements. For larger systems, this means delivering timing signals to multiple boards and even multiple chassis.  Examples are applications such as radar beamforming, direction finding and shipboard diversity reception and cellular wireless applications where multiple antennas are used to steer and/or improve the reception of signals. Users can typically synchronize two, three or four boards by joining the timing signal connectors with a ribbon cable. In this case, one board acts as a driver and the other modules as receivers. But as systems grow larger with more channels and more than four modules, a product such as the 6891 becomes essential.

The Model 6891 VME board from Pentek accepts clock, sync, gate and trigger signals as inputs, and delivers buffered versions of these signals to other modules in the system to ensure synchronous sampling and data collection across all connected modules. The 6891 provides up to eight timing signal cables fully compatible with the multi-pin front panel timing signal connectors found on all recent Pentek PMC modules. Using this strategy, up to eight modules can receive a common clock up to 500 MHz along with timing signals. For larger systems, up to eight 6891 VME boards can be linked together providing synchronization for 64 I/O modules producing systems with up to 256 channels.

With the 6891, loading is no longer an issue because each board is driven over a dedicated timing signal cable by one of its eight dedicated drivers. What’s more, passing the clock, sync, gating and trigger signals through individual cables guarantees better performance due to improved delay matching. From the standpoint of economy of packaging, the 6891 occupies a single VME slot. It often eliminates the need for a custom external timing signal generator chassis, providing a more compact and less expensive system solution. The 6891 requires no additional software. The modules connected to the 6891 board are already fully supported by ReadyFlow board support packages for Linux, VxWorks and Windows operating systems. Pricing starts at $3,995, which includes free lifetime support.


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