N.A.T.: MicroTCA.4.1 LLRF backplane

N.A.T. announced a new MicroTCA.4.1 low level radio frequency (LLRF) backplane for the distribution of high precision RF and clock signals in embedded computing systems aimed at high energy physics research and other applications: the NAT-LLRF-Backplane.

Originally developed by DESY, the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, and now licensed by N.A.T., the NAT-LLRF-Backplane provides three extra slots for RF/clock signal generation and distribution modules. It provides high-frequency signal distribution in the range of DC to 6GHz (27 single-ended channels, star topology) and low-jitter CLK channels (22 differential pairs, star topology). The backplane supports two RTM power modules, such as the NAT-RPM-PSC, and delivers a high-performance and managed power source for up to 12 MicroRTMs and three extended RTMs. For cost-efficiency, the unit can also operate with no RTM-PM if the rear of the chassis only needs a limited amount of power.

The NAT-LLRF-Backplane also provides low noise separated analog bipolar power distribution (+VV, -VV) for μRTMs and unipolar power distribution for eRTMs. The NAT-MCH-RTM-BM-FPGA module provides system management functionality and the backplane provides three LVDS data communication links per slot to eRTMs. An on-board user I²C interface can be used for system management and communication among other functions.

The NAT-LLRF-Backplane can be mounted in a 9U chassis, such as the NATIVE-R9, and it includes a dedicated shielding board which protects against electromagnetic interference induced by the AMC backplane. The backplane ground can be connected to/isolated from the chassis ground using screws. N.A.T. and the DESY research institute have studied the signal integrity of the design and optimized it to achieve best performance.

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