Virtex-6 Signal Processing Board Family Moves to CompactPCI System Designs

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Pentek has announced that its popular Cobalt board family is now available for use in CompactPCI (cPCI) systems. The migration to cPCI gives system designers full access to Pentek’s modular technology, which features high-performance signal acquisition and the processing power of Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGAs.

Cobalt family capabilities now available for cPCI systems include:


  • 1 GHz A/D & 1 GHz D/A (Model xx630)
  • 2 Channel 500 MHz A/D, DUC & 2 Channel 800 MHz D/A (Model xx650)
  • 3 Channel 200 MHz A/D, DUC & 2 Channel 800 MHz D/A (Model xx620)
  • 3 Channel 200 MHz A/D, DDC, DUC & 2 Channel 800 MHz D/A (Model xx621)
  • 4 Channel 200 MHz 16-bit A/D (Model xx660)
  • 4 Channel 200 MHz A/D & Quad DDCs with Beamforming IP (Model xx661)
  • L-Band RF (925-2175 MHz) Tuner with 2 Channel 200 MHz A/D (Model xx690)


All modules feature dedicated DMA channels and memory buffers for each I/O stream, and multi-channel, multi-board synchronization along with a customizable Virtex-6 FPGA for onboard signal processing. Boards are available as 3U cPCI carriers (73xxx) containing one Cobalt XMC module; 6U cPCI carriers (72xxx) with one XMC installed; and 6U cPCI carriers (74xxx) containing two identical Cobalt XMC modules. Custom configurations mixing XMC module types on a 6U carrier are also possible, yielding single-slot solutions for a wide range of signal acquisition and processing applications. 

A bridge chip handles mapping of the Cobalt module’s serial PCIe interface to the parallel PCI bus. Developers can utilize the Virtex-6 FPGAs for onboard signal processing that can help reduce data transfer rates across the backplane. Options are also available for providing LVDS to the cPCI J2 (3U cPCI) or J3 and J5 (6U cPCI) connectors for application-specific custom I/O. All software and FPGA development tools for the Cobalt family are immediately available to support cPCI designs. Pentek’s ReadyFlow Board Support Libraries include drivers for Linux, Windows and VxWorks operating systems, as well as turnkey application software that provides out-of-the-box modules. 

Pentek’s GateFlow FPGA Design Kit allows users to incorporate custom algorithms connected to the pre-configured interface functions installed on the Virtex-6 FPGA. GateFlow enables customers to implement high-performance signal processing functions for wideband communications, radar, signal intelligence and beamforming. Pricing starts at $11,600. 

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