Computer/Embedded Technology


3U VPX software radio board

23 October 2019 Computer/Embedded Technology

Pentek introduced the newest member of the Jade family of high-performance 3U VPX boards. The Model 54821 is based on the Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGA and features three 200 MHz 16-bit A/Ds with three programmable multiband digital down-converters (DDCs) and one digital up-converter (DUC) with two 800 MHz 16-bit D/As.

The Model 54821 is the latest addition to the Pentek 3U VPX architecture with the advanced wideband I/O options afforded by OpenVPX. It takes advantage of these VPX I/O options for RF and optical interconnects through the VPX backplane:

• Option -109: Optical connections based on VITA 66.5 (draft), containing blind-mate MT optical connectors with fixed contacts on the plug-in module and floating displacement on the backplane.

• Option -111: RF connections based on ANSI/VITA 67.2, containing multi-position blind-mate analog connectors with SMPM contacts.

• Option -112: RF connections based on ANSI/VITA 67.3 type C, containing multi-position blind-mate analog connectors with SMPM contacts, spring-loaded on the backplane allowing more movement and larger diameter cables for better performance.

This new 3U VPX architecture further expands the options for custom I/O by offering 20 pairs of LVDS connectivity and one 8X gigabit link for serial protocols. Future options for higher-density optical and RF connectors are planned as the supporting standards become available.

The VITA 66.5 draft standard calls out blind mate optical connectors with fixed contacts on the plug-in module and floating displacement for the MT ferrule on the backplane. The 3U VPX module uses a single assembly that includes an electro-optical transceiver, a fixed MT ferrule blind mating connector, and the mechanical housing. This eliminates the need for internal optical cables on the plug-in module to ease assembly and save space.

The Model 54821 can be populated with a range of Kintex UltraScale FPGAs to match specific requirements of the processing task, spanning from the entry-level KU035 (with 1700 DSP slices) to the high-performance KU115 (with 5520 DSP slices). The KU115 is ideal for ­demanding modulation/demodulation, encoding/decoding, encryption/decryption, and channelisation of the signals between transmission and reception. For applications not requiring large DSP resources or logic, a lower-cost FPGA can be installed.

The Model 54821 also includes a complete multi-board clock and sync engine and a large DDR4 memory. In addition to supporting PCI Express Gen. 3 as a native interface, the board includes optional high-bandwidth connections to the Kintex UltraScale FPGA for custom digital I/O.


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