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Pentek unveils Flexor line of FMC carriers, modules

Posted: 22 Jan 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FPGA  FMC  radio solution  optical backplane interface 

Pentek has released its Flexor line of FMC (FPGA Mezzanine Card) carriers and FMC modules: the Model 5973 3U VPX FMC carrier with a Virtex-7 FPGA and the Model 3312 multi-channel, high-speed data converter FMC. The new products combine the performance of the Virtex-7 with the flexibility of the FMC data converter, thus creating a radar and software radio solution. The company says the products feature VITA 66.4 MT optical backplane interconnect option and 4 Ch 250MHz, 16bit A/D, 2 Ch 800MHz, 16bit D/A FMC module. Ruggedised versions for harsh military environments are also available.

The Flexor Model 5973 features a high pin-count VITA 57.1 FMC site, 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, PCI Express (Gen. 1, 2 and 3) interface up to x8, optional user-configurable gigabit serial I/O and optional LVDS connections to the FPGA for custom I/O.

The Flexor Model 5973 delivers new levels of I/O performance by incorporating the emerging VITA 66.4 standard for half size MT optical interconnect, providing 12 optical duplex lanes to the backplane. With the installation of a serial protocol, the VITA-66.4 interface enables gigabit backplane communications between boards independent of the PCIe interface.

The Flexor Model 3312 FMC surpasses the speed and density of previous products with four 250MHz 16bit A/Ds and two 800MHz 16bit D/As. Its high pin-count FMC connector matches the new Virtex-7 FPGA carrier, boosting performance levels and adding flexibility.

"For Pentek, this was a natural evolution of our Virtex-7 XMC modules," said Rodger Hosking, vice-president of Pentek. "This new product line was inspired by many customers asking for FMC implementations of our popular Cobalt and Onyx family. Pentek also becomes the first supplier to offer VITA 66.4 on a VPX FMC carrier."

The Flexor Model 5973 comes preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for data capture, synchronisation, time tagging and formatting, all tailored and optimised for specific FMC modules, such as the Flexor Model 3312. Together, they provide an ideal turn-key signal interface for radar, communications, or general data acquisition applications, eliminating the integration effort typically left for the user when integrating FMC and carrier.

While many applications can be satisfied with the boards' built-in functions, the Flexor Model 5973 is an ideal development and deployment platform for custom IP. Supported by the Pentek GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, users have access to the complete factory installed IP at the source level, allowing them to extend or even replace the built-in functions.

The Pentek GateXpress PCIe Configuration Manager supports dynamic FPGA reconfiguration though software commands as part of the runtime application. This provides an efficient way to quickly reload the FPGA, which occurs many times during development. For deployed environments, GateXpress enables reloading the FPGA without the need to reset the host system, ideal for applications that require dynamic access to multiple processing IP algorithms.

The Pentek ReadyFlow Board Support Package is available for Windows and Linux operating systems. ReadyFlow is provided as a C-callable library, the complete suite of initialisation, control and status functions, as well as a rich set of precompiled, ready-to-run-examples, accelerate application development.





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