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200 MHz A/D converter module for radar and communications introduced by Pentek

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J., 13 Nov. 2012. Pentek Inc. in Upper Saddle River, N.J., is introducing the Onyx Model 71720 three-channel, 200 MHz A/D converter, 2-channel 800 MHz D/A module for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), radar, and communications applications.

The module -- the newest member of the Pentek Onyx family of multichannel, high-speed software radio XMC field-programmable gate array (FPGA) modules -- is based on the high density Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA.

The GateXpress PCI Express configuration manager is an FPGA-PCI Express hardware engine for managing the reconfiguration of the FPGA. At power up, the GateXpress manager presents a PCI Express target to the host computer for discovery and enumeration, giving the FPGA time to load from FLASH.

The bitstream configuration FLASH can hold four different FPGA images, selectable at boot up with hardware switches. Once booted, the GateXpress manager offers three options for dynamically reconfiguring the FPGA with a new IP image. The first option is to load a different image from FLASH through a software reload command.

The second option is for applications where the FPGA image must be loaded directly through the PCI Express interface from the host computer. The third option, typically used during development, allows the user to directly load the FPGA through JTAG using Xilinx iMPACT.

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In all three FPGA image loading scenarios, the GateXpress configuration manager handles the hardware negotiation.

Architectural enhancements in the Onyx family include a doubling of the DDR3 memory in both size and speed to 4 gigabytes and 1600 MHz, respectively. The PCI Express interface has been upgraded to Gen 3, delivering peak transfer rates up to 8 gigabytes per second.

The Model 71720 comes preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for data capture, synchronization, time tagging and formatting, making the board an ideal turn-key interface for radar, communications or general data acquisition applications.

The Model 71720 XMC module is designed for air- and conduction-cooled operating environments. It is available on carriers for 3U / 6U CompactPCI (Models 73720/72720), 3U VPX (Model 53720) and PCI Express (Model 78720).

Software support packages are available for Linux, Windows, and VxWorks operating systems. For systems that require custom functions, IP can be developed using the Pentek GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, extending or even replacing the factory-installed functions.

For more information contact Pentek online at

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