RFSoC FPGA Software Radio Solutions for Radar and Mil-Aero Applications

Pentek has completed the successful production, testing, and delivery of their RFSoC boards for defense and wireless applications. The new Quartz" Model 5950 Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC 3U VPX Board and the Model 6001 Zynq UltraScale+ QuartzXM eXpress Module support wideband RF analog I/O signals with eight 4 GHz A/Ds, eight 6.4 GHz D/As, and multi-core ARM processors.

For 3U VPX systems, the Quartz Model 5950 uses Pentek's Navigator Design Suite to speed software and IP development. For small or high-density deployed systems, the same IP and software can be easily transferred to the Model 6001 QuartzXM eXpress Module to support a wide range of custom form factor, SWaP-sensitive applications.

Pentek feels this new technology will revolutionize how engineers are developing radar and other Mil-Aero applications. The modular Quartz board architecture with its unique, deployable QuartzXM eXpress Module, leverages the powerful resources of the RFSoC chip and offers the industry's fastest path for system development. Adding Pentek's Navigator tools and example IP for DRFM, radar, high-performance data acquisition, and streaming gigabit I/O delivers a successful application that's ready to deploy.

According to David Gamba, Xilinx senior director for the Aerospace and Defense Vertical Market, the Pentek QuartzXM Model 6001 includes all of the circuitry needed to maximize the performance of the device. The Model 6001 can be housed in the Pentek 3U VPX Model 5950 or it can be deployed on a custom carrier. This flexibility offered has been well received as users can deploy this new technology in the field in a very small footprint, which is critical to Mil-Aero market needs.

The Quartz Architecture Difference

The Pentek Quartz architecture embodies a streamlined approach to FPGA boards, simplifying the design to reduce power and cost, while still providing some of the highest performance FPGA resources available today. Designed to work with Pentek's Navigator" Design Suite tools, the combination of Quartz and Navigator offers users an efficient path to developing and deploying FPGA software and IP for data and signal processing.

The Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC chip integrates eight RF-class A/D and D/A converters into the Zynq FPGA fabric and quad ARM Cortex-A53 and dual ARM Cortex-R5 processors, creating a multichannel data conversion and processing solution on a single chip. Complementing the RFSoC's on-chip resources, the Quartz board architecture adds:

  • Up to 18 GBytes of DDR4 SDRAM
  • Sophisticated clocking for single-board and multi-board synchronization
  • High-signal integrity connectors for RF inputs and outputs
  • x8 PCIe Gen 3 link
  • Dual 100 GigE optical interfaces or customer installed protocols
  • 12 LVDS general purpose I/O pairs for specialized interfaces
  • QuartzXM eXpress Module design for flexible deployment
  • Factory-installed application IP for DRFM, high-speed data acquisition and radar
  • Navigator design suite (BSP and FDK) for streamlined IP development

Given below is a live signal acquisition video using Pentek's Model 5950 8 Channel A/D and D/A Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Processor and Model 6001 8-Channel A/D and D/A Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Processor utilizing Pentek's Navigator Signal Viewer.


  • Country: United States
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