FMC/VPX Carrier Equipped with Optical Backplane Interface

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A new line of FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) carriers and FMC modules from Pentek will include an optical backplane interface. The Model 5973 3U VPX FMC carrier is the first member of the Flexor family with a Virtex-7 FPGA and the Model 3312 multichannel, high-speed data converter FMC. They combine the high performance of the Virtex-7 with the flexibility of the FMC data converter, creating a complete radar and software radio solution.

The Flexor Model 5973 features a high-pin-count VITA 57.1 FMC site, 4 Gbyte of DDR3 SDRAM, PCI Express (Gen. 1, 2 and 3) interface up to x8, optional user-configurable gigabit serial I/O and optional LVDS connections to the FPGA for custom I/O. The Flexor Model 5973 delivers new levels of I/O performance by incorporating the emerging VITA 66.4 standard for half-size MT optical interconnect, providing 12 optical duplex lanes to the backplane. With the installation of a serial protocol, the VITA-66.4 interface enables gigabit backplane communications between boards independent of the PCIe interface.

The Flexor Model 3312 FMC surpasses the speed and density of previous products with four 250 MHz 16-bit A/Ds and two 800 MHz 16-bit D/As. Its high-pin-count FMC connector matches the new Virtex-7 FPGA carrier, boosting performance levels and adding flexibility.

The Flexor Model 5973 comes preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for data capture, synchronization, time tagging and formatting, all tailored and optimized for specific FMC modules, such as the Flexor Model 3312. Together, they provide an attractive turn-key signal interface for radar, communications or general data acquisition applications, eliminating the integration effort typically left for the user when integrating FMC and carrier. 

The Pentek GateXpress PCIe Configuration Manager supports dynamic FPGA reconfiguration through software commands as part of the runtime application. This provides an efficient way to quickly reload the FPGA, which occurs many times during development. For deployed environments, GateXpress enables reloading the FPGA without the need to reset the host system, ideal for applications that require dynamic access to multiple processing IP algorithms.

The Pentek ReadyFlow Board Support Package is available for Windows and Linux operating systems. ReadyFlow is provided as a C-callable library; the complete suite of initialization, control and status functions, as well as a rich set of precompiled, ready-to-run-examples accelerate application development.

The Flexor Model 3312 FMC and Flexor Model 5973 VPX carriers are designed for air-cooled, conduction-cooled and rugged operating environments. The Model 3312 starts at $2,495. The Model 5973 module with 4 Gbytes of memory starts at $14,995. Delivery is 8-10 weeks ARO for all models.

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