Ixthos develops programmable digital radio solutions for tactical communications

Engineers at Ixthos Inc. in Leesburg, Va., have designed a new line of digital radio boards for smart antennas, radio frequency hopping, and other military communications applications.

Mar 1st, 2001
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By John McHale

LEESBURG, Va. — Engineers at Ixthos Inc. in Leesburg, Va., have designed a new line of digital radio boards for smart antennas, radio frequency hopping, and other military communications applications.


Single-board digital radios from Ixthos Inc. facilitate rack-mount communications.
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The software-programmable CHAMP-DR/T boards provide four-channel receivers or dual-channel transceivers. The CHAMP-DR/T couples tightly to as many as four PowerPC 7400 (with AltiVec) or four Texas Instruments TMS320C6x digital signal processors (DSPs) in one 6U VME or CompactPCI slot.

"It puts into a single slot the same amount of boards that fit into two or three slots only 18 months ago," says Doug Patterson, director of marketing at Ixthos. Future generations of the product will be designed to have even more boards in a single slot, he adds.

With digital radio solutions "it comes down to the number of channels per slot per dollar," Patterson explains. Ixthos engineers will go as far as the technology allows them to go, he adds.

Currently the Ixthos solution is for the E911 cellular telephone position location system, Patterson says. By October 2001 the U.S. Federal Communications Commission requires all cell phone 911 emergency calls to transmit their locations.

The CHAMP-DR/T boards use PCI mezzanine cards (PMCs) for I/O flexibility to enable wireless phone carriers to improve call capacity for voice, video, and data, Ixthos officials explain.

CHAMP-DR/T subsystems include several third-party PMCs, including digital radio modules from Echotek in Huntsville, Ala., and Red River Engineering in Richardson, Texas.

The CHAMP-DR/T can implement multi-channel, low noise, wide- and narrow-band receivers and transmitters, Ixthos officials say. This enables virtually any demodulation scheme, including AM, FM, PM, FSK, PSK, QPSK, CDMA and others, they claim.

The boards use signal processing elements tightly coupled to 14 bit A-D down converters for data transfers as fast as 260 megabytes per second, Ixthos officials say.

Software support is available for operating systems such as VxWorks and Linux. Extended-temperature and conduction-cooled versions of the CHAMP-DR/T are available from DY 4 Systems in Kanata, Ontario, the Ixthos parent company.

For more information on the Ixthos digital radio solution contact Doug Patterson by phone at 703-779-7800, by fax at 703-779-7805, by mail at Ixthos, 741-G Miller Drive SE, Leesburg, Va. 20175, by e-mail at dpatterson@ixthos.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.ixthos.com.

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