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L-Band RF Tuner Integrated with Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA for Satellite TV, Wireless Comm

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An L-Band RF tuner and dual digitizer module incorporates an onboard Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA. The instrument targets reception and processing of digitally modulated RF signals such as satellite television and terrestrial wireless communications. The Model 71690 from Pentek requires only an antenna and a host system, such as a personal computer, to form a complete L-band SDR development platform. 

The 71690 RF tuner and digitizer module is capable of directly receiving and digitizing signals in the 925 MHz to 2175 MHz (L-band) frequency range with a dynamic range of -75 dBm to 0 dBm. The MAX2112 direct-conversion tuner IC integrates variable-gain amplifiers, dual downconverting mixers and configurable-bandwidth low-pass filters to produce baseband analog in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) signals for digitization. 

Dual 16-bit, 200 MHz ADCs synchronously sample the I and Q signals, passing them to a Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA for processing tasks such as demodulation, decoding and decryption. Customers can choose from a variety of FPGAs, including the LX130T, LX240T, LX365T, SX315T and SX475T, to obtain the processing performance they need at the lowest cost. Four independent memory banks provide the 71690 with a capacity of up 2 Gbyte of DDR3 SDRAM for applications requiring deep memory, or up to 32 Mbyte of QDRII+ SRAM for applications requiring fast random access.

The module’s external interfaces include a Gen2 PCI Express bus (x8) for native connection to the host system for control and data transfer. In addition, the module offers application-specific options for installation of 20 LVDS pairs for general-purpose input/output and four gigabit interfaces to support serial protocols.

Software IP for the onboard Virtex-6 FPGA provides customers with a combination of turnkey and custom functionality. The board ships with the FPGA configured to provide data acquisition, synchronization, triggering and memory control as well as a test signal generator and control of the RF receiver tuning and bandwidth for a complete baseband signal receiver solution. The additional space available even in the smallest FPGA option also provides users ample opportunity to add their own IP using Pentek’s GateFlow Design Kit.

The 71690’s native form factor is a ruggedized XMC module. It can also be implemented in PCI Express (Model 78690) and VITA 65 3U VPX (Model 53690) form factors. ReadyFlow software support for the Model 71690 includes drivers for Windows and Linux platforms, as well as future support for VxWorks. Pricing starts at $9,995. 

Pentek, Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. [www.pentek.com].