Pentek announces rugged boards with FPGA technology for military applications

SAN JOSE, Calif., 1 Nov. 2010. Pentek Inc. unveiled the first in a family of ruggedized boards for high-performance military and avionics applications using advanced FPGA technology. Pentek’s 53xxx Cobalt board family incorporates Xilinx’s Virtex-6 FPGAs for on-board signal processing, delivering digital sampling rates to 1 GHz in a compact 3U VPX form factor. By combining processing, data conversion, and preconfigured functions, the 53xxx family is suitable for such applications as UAV, CommINT (Communications Intelligence) transceivers, airborne communications recorders, airborne radar countermeasures, shipboard diversity transceivers, and armored vehicle anti-IED systems.

Nov 1st, 2010

Posted by Courtney E. Howard

SAN JOSE, Calif., 1 Nov. 2010. Pentek Inc. unveiled the first in a family of ruggedized boards for high-performance military and avionics applications using advanced FPGA technology. Pentek’s 53xxx Cobalt board family incorporates Xilinx’s Virtex-6 FPGAs for on-board signal processing, delivering digital sampling rates to 1 GHz in a compact 3U VPX form factor. By combining processing, data conversion, and preconfigured functions, the 53xxx family is suitable for such applications as UAV, CommINT (Communications Intelligence) transceivers, airborne communications recorders, airborne radar countermeasures, shipboard diversity transceivers, and armored vehicle anti-IED systems.

According to Rodger Hosking, vice-president of Pentek, "Our new product line represents the industry's highest performance and most comprehensive software radio VPX offerings now available. Further, they fully support the OpenVPX standard (VITA 65) for improved interoperability among vendors, plus the long term availability essential for military programs."

Pentek’s 53xxx VPX modules support VPX REDI (VITA 48) and feature the ruggedized construction and extended temperature options essential for military installations. The products are available in both air-cooled and conduction-cooled formats.

Pentek’s 53xxx Cobalt family is the first to bring Virtex-6 FPGA technology to the VPX format. With more than twice the resources of previous Virtex generations, including new enhancements in digital signal processing, logic, and clocking, the Virtex-6 family provides developers with a previously unavailable level of customizable processing power.

Pentek gives the FPGA full access to all data and control paths and then harnesses its raw processing power by pre-configuring boards with key functions, says a representative. This strategy provides a wealth of useful turn-key operations, while leaving enough unused FPGA capacity for adding customer-developed IP.

Product Offerings
All Cobalt VPX products are available with a choice of Xilinx Virtex-6 LXT or SXT FPGA devices to match the application. Other common features of Cobalt boards include PCI Express (Gen 2) interfaces up to 8 lanes wide, synchronous clocking locked to an external system reference, and an LVPECL synch bus for synchronizing multiple modules to increase channel count. The initial release of boards in the 3U VPX series includes:
53660, with four 16-bit, 200 MHz A/Ds
53661 with four 16-bit, 200 MHz A/Ds and four multiband DDCs
53620 with three 16-bit, 200 MHz A/Ds and two16-bit, 800 MHz D/As with DUC
53621 with three 16-bit, 200 MHz A/Ds, three multiband DDCs, and two 16-bit 800 MHz D/As with DUC and interpolator
53650 with two 12-bit, 500 MHz A/Ds and two 16-bit, 800 MHz D/As with DUC
53630 with one 12-bit, 1 GHz A/D and one 16-bit, 1 GHz D/A

Embedded IP delivers turnkey software radio solutions
Users can integrate custom processing algorithms with the factory-installed IP in Cobalt devices using Pentek’s GateFlow FPGA design kits. The kits facilitate implementation of DSP functions such as FFTs, FIR filters and software-radio blocks. GateFlow kits include VHDL source files for all standard board features and work in conjunction with the Xilinx IDS Foundation design tools.

Software development tools for C-programming include ReadyFlow Board Support packages for Windows, Linux, and VxWorks operating systems.

The Cobalt 53xxx 3U VPX module pricing starts at $14,490; delivery is stock to 10 weeks ARO.

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