Working Together Gets Us There Faster

July 31, 2017

Engineers building embedded digital signal processing systems, like multi-channel radar, face many obstacles. In addition to technical challenges like size, weight, and power, engineers must develop systems that can solve the problems of today and of tomorrow. One way to overcome this challenge is to build their systems around leading-edge technology. Another is to select COTS products so that technology insertion is simpler in the coming years. Lastly, engineers must select flexible solutions that can adapt to their requirements with as little custom work as possible.

Accomplishing all of this is no simple task. It requires collaboration between organizations in the embedded ecosystem – beyond just Abaco – to be able to provide our customers with a solution that provides highly flexible, leading edge technology built on industry standards.

Ultimately, our customers depend on our ability to deliver leading edge technology as quickly as possible to help overcome the challenges they face today as well as the obstacles of tomorrow.

Latest chipsets

In order to accomplish this, we’ve collaborated with suppliers like Texas Instruments to deliver COTS hardware with the latest chipsets when they are released to the market.  For example, at Abaco, we recently released the FMC134 – a high bandwidth, high resolution, multi-channel FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) based on Texas Instruments’ ADC12DJ3200 analog-to-digital converter. By collaborating closely with Texas Instruments beginning in the early design stages, we were able to release the FMC134 less than two weeks after Texas Instruments announced their ADC12DJ3200. In doing so, Abaco provides our customers with a COTS board level solution so they can begin integrating the latest ADC technology into their systems as soon as possible.

Additionally, our customers demand the highest performance for their most demanding radar applications.  To help us create the FMC134 FMC+ Direct RF Conversion Module, we turned to Texas Instruments and their ADC12DJ3200 technology.

It uniquely gives us the support we need for a combination of high sample rates above 3 GHz and high 12-bit resolution. Texas Instruments was first to market with this combination – one that many of our existing customers have requested. The impact of being first to market trickles down the value chain to ultimately enable Abaco’s customers to develop their solutions with leading edge technology before their competitors. In addition, when obsolescence is a challenge, being able to start development as close to the release date of the latest chipset is of paramount importance.

Flexibility makes it easier

Beyond the combination of high sample rate and high resolution, the ADC12DJ3200 delivers consistent input impedance over frequency which helps ensure better performance across a wide range of possible applications. For Abaco, the more flexible our products are in terms of addressable applications, the easier it is for our customers to adapt a single technology to solve multiple challenges. As a result of repurposing existing designs, customers can reduce design complexity and are able to shorten time to deployment. Also, the ADC12DJ3200 can run in two operational modes, giving our customers greater flexibility in implementation. With two ADC’s per board, the FMC134 can operate in two modes: two 12-bit channels with a data rate of 6.4GSPS or four 12-bit channels with a data rate of 3.2GSPS. For us, the ADC12DJ3200 delivers the optimum contribution to the overall capabilities of the FMC134.

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