Virtex-6 FPGA Module for Radar and Telemetry Applications

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Virtex-6 FPGA Module for Radar and Telemetry Applications 

A multichannel, high-speed data converter XMC module is designed for connection to HF or IF ports for communications, radar, telemetry and medical systems. This 71620 module from Pentek is the first member of its Cobalt family slated to employ Xilinx’s new Virtex-6 FPGA family. With greater than two times more resources than previous Virtex generations, including new enhancements in digital signal processing, logic and clocking technology, the Virtex-6 family delivers the industry’s most advanced FPGA technology. 

The Pentek 71620 analog front end features three Texas Instruments ADS5485 200 MHz 16-bit A/Ds delivering wide dynamic range and an input bandwidth of 350 MHz, ideal for signal intelligence, radar, beamforming and undersampling applications. In addition, a dual channel TI DAC5688 800 MHz 16-bit D/A provides two wideband analog outputs. Built-in 2x, 4x and 8x interpolation filters and a digital upconverter translate real or complex baseband input signals to any IF center frequency up to 360 MHz, making the dual D/A extremely flexible for generating many popular communications and radar signals.

Four separate DRAM banks of 256 Mbytes each are larger than previous designs. These multiple banks offer flexibility in dedicating separate resources to I/O streams and processor requirements, eliminating the overhead associated with arbitrating for a single, shared bank. While synchronous SDRAM offers a fast, extremely dense memory, its architecture shares a data path for reading and writing. In some applications this shared path creates a bottleneck. To address this, the 71620 can be optioned with QDRII+ SRAM offering very efficient memory with separate read and write interfaces. The QDRII+ banks are each 8 Mbytes deep and provide an ideal memory resource for structures like data streaming FIFOs, an integral part of the board’s advanced DMA engines. 

In the case of multiple board systems, each 71620 can receive and lock to a front-panel system reference clock. In addition to using the reference to synchronize sample clocks for multiple A/Ds and D/As, the reference can keep the data packet header coherent across the channels of larger systems. 

The 71620 supports Gen 2 PCI Express as the primary control and data streaming interface. With lane widths up to x8, data can be moved on and off the board at rates up to 4 Gbytes/s. Such rates are invaluable for moving the full bandwidth, multichannel data required in many applications. With dual XMC connectors, the 71620 can support additional protocols like Aurora or RapidIO on the second connector. This is ideal for applications that require high-speed, board-to-board communication paths while still maintaining the PCIe interface.

The 71620 XMC is designed for conduction-cooled assemblies, and PCIe versions are also available. Software support packages are available for Linux, Windows and VxWorks operating systems. In addition, Pentek’s GateFlow Design Kit is available for custom IP development. The 71620 is immediately available starting at $11,500. 

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