Pentek offers new VME board solution for synchronization and distribution of timing signals in large multi-channel systems

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J., 24 Aug. 2009. Pentek officials announced a new system-enhancing single-board computer solution that makes it easier for design engineers to configure multiple-channel systems.

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J., 24 Aug. 2009. Pentek officials announced a new system-enhancing single-board computer solution that makes it easier for design engineers to configure multiple-channel systems.

Pentek's Model 6891 VME board is suited for radar beamforming, direction finding, and shipboard diversity reception and cellular wireless applications where multiple antennas are used to steer and/or improve the reception of signals, Pentek officials say.

"Many of our customers need to synchronize multiple channels to satisfy their system requirements. For larger systems, this means delivering timing signals to multiple boards and even multiple chassis," says Rodger Hosking, vice president, Pentek, Inc. "Contrary to many competitive offerings that leave the user on his own to develop a way to synchronize and distribute timing signals within a system, this new board provides a ready-to-use, simplified and reliable solution to this critical system issue, saving the user both development time and resources."

The 6891 board accepts clock, sync, gate, and trigger signals as inputs, and delivers buffered versions of these signals to other modules in the system to ensure synchronous sampling and data collection across all connected modules.

The device also provides as many as eight timing signal cables compatible with the multi-pin front panel timing signal connectors found on all recent Pentek PMC modules. Using this strategy, as many as eight modules can receive a common clock as fast as 500 megahertz along with timing signals. For larger systems as many as eight 6891 VME boards can be linked together providing synchronization for 64 I/O modules producing systems with as many as 256 channels.

"Users can typically synchronize two, three or four boards by joining the timing signal connectors with a ribbon cable," says Robert Sgandurra, product manager for Pentek. "In this case, one board acts as a driver and the other modules as receivers. But as systems grow larger with more channels and more than four modules, a product such as the 6891 becomes essential."

By using the 6891, loading is no longer an issue because each board is driven over a dedicated timing signal cable by one of its eight dedicated drivers, Pentek officials say. Also, passing the clock, sync, gating, and trigger signals through individual cables guarantees better performance due to improved delay matching.

The 6891 occupies a single VME slot, often eliminating the need for a custom external timing signal generator chassis, providing a more compact and less expensive system solution, company officials say.

The modules connected to the 6891 board are already supported by ReadyFlow board support packages for Linux, VxWorks, and Windows operating systems.

Pentek's 6891 is immediately available with prices starting at $3,995, which includes free lifetime support.


More in Computers