Pentek Introduces Rugged 8-Channel A/D and D/A Converter Subsystems Based on Xilinx RFSoCs

Pentek has added two new products to the Quartz RFSoC Architecture family. The Model 6350S and Model 6353S (Gen 3 RFSoC) are eight-channel A/D and D/A converter subsystems available in a rugged small form factor package. Based on Pentek QuartzXM eXpress modules that utilize the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC FPGA, the Model 6350S and Model 6353S are ideal for SIGINT and COMINT, military communications, EW countermeasures, radar transceiver, test and measurement, SATCOM, LiDAR, 5G and LTE wireless applications.

Bob Sgandurra, director of Product Management of Pentek said that their Quartz RFSoC customers continue to come up with requests for challenging packaging options for their QuartzXM eXpress modules. Pentek is now shipping the Model 6350S and Model 6353S to fill the gap between their module solutions and their fully enclosed system solutions. He further said that the small size of these subsystems enables customers to install their Quartz RFSoC technology within their existing enclosures.

Designed for Platform Integration

The Model 6350S and Model 6353S are complete self-contained RF converter and processing subsystems in a small mounting frame. Requiring only a single 12V power supply, the subsystems can be integrated as a component in a larger system with minimal design effort. All analog I/O and control and communication interfaces are easily accessible with industry-standard connectors, simplifying connections to other system components. The bottom surface of the subsystem provides an efficient thermal interface enabling conduction cooling and allowing fan-less operation in most installations.

Optimized for SWaP (size, weight and power), the Model 6350S and Model 6353S are very small in size, measuring 1.5" H x 4.6" W x 6.7" D and weighing just under 30 oz. Intended for use in customer provided enclosures, the subsystems are ideal for deployment in challenging and harsh environments.

The Quartz Architecture Difference

The Pentek Quartz architecture embodies a streamlined approach to FPGA products, simplifying the design for reduced power and cost, while still providing some of the highest performance FPGA resources available today. Supported by Pentek's Navigator" Design Suite tools, Quartz products offer users an efficient path for developing and deploying software and FPGA IP for data and signal processing. The Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Processor integrates eight RF-class A/D and D/A converters into the Zynq FPGA fabric along with quad ARM Cortex-A53 and dual ARM Cortex-R5 processors, creating a multichannel data conversion and processing solution on a single chip.

Data Conversion

The front end of the Model 6350S (Gen1 RFSoC) accepts analog IF or RF inputs up to 4 GHz on eight coax connectors with transformer-coupling to eight 4 GSPS 12-bit A/D converters, delivering either real or complex DDC samples. Additional IP-based decimation filters, provide overall DDC decimation from 2 to 128. Eight D/A converters accept baseband real or complex data streams from the FPGA's programmable logic. Each 6.4 GSPS 14-bit D/A includes a digital upconverter with independent tuning and interpolations of 1x, 2x, 4x and 8x. All A/Ds and D/As are transformer-coupled to wideband coax cable connectors.

The Model 6353S (Gen 3 RFSoC) boosts the input signal bandwidth to 6 GHz using a 5 GSPS 14-bit A/D with additional decimation settings. The D/A rate increases from 6.4 to 10 GSPS.

Fast Data Interface

he Model 6350S and Model 6353S support eight 28 Gb/sec full-duplex lanes using RFSoC GTY gigabit serial ports. With the built-in 100 GigE UDP interface or installation of a user-provided serial protocol, this interface delivers a high-speed gigabit data streaming path between the Model 6350S or Model 6353S and other identical subsystems, optical transceivers, data storage or other processing systems.

Factory Installed IP Speeds Development

The Model 635xS subsystems are pre-loaded with a suite of Pentek IP modules to provide data capture, timing, interface and processing solutions for many common applications. Modules include DMA engines, DDR4 memory controllers, test signal and metadata generators, data packing and flow control.

Navigator Design Suite for Streamlined IP Development

Pentek's Navigator Design Suite includes Navigator FDK (FPGA Design Kit) for custom IP and Navigator BSP (Board Support Package) for creating host software applications.

The Navigator FDK includes the board's entire FPGA design as a block diagram that can be graphically edited in Xilinx's Vivado tool suite, with full source code and documentation. Developers can integrate their IP along with the factory-installed functions or use the Navigator kit to replace the IP with their own. The Navigator FDK Library is fully AXI-4 compliant, providing a well-defined interface for developing custom IP or integrating IP from other sources.

The Navigator BSP supports Xilinx's PetaLinux on the ARM processors. Users can work efficiently using high-level API functions, or gain full access to the underlying libraries including source code. Pentek provides numerous examples to assist in the development of new applications.

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