Pentek: 3U VPX board optimizes high-speed optical and RF I/O connectivity

Pentek introduced the newest member of the Jade family of high-performance 3U VPX boards. The Model 54851 is based on the Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGA and features two 500 MHz 12-bit A/Ds with two programmable multiband digital downconverters (DDCs) and one digital upconverter (DUC) with two 800 MHz 16-bit D/As. The 54851 is the first board utilizing this new 3U VPX architecture with advanced wideband I/O options.

The Model 54851 takes advantage of these VPX I/O options for RF and optical interconnects through the VPX backplane:

  • Option -110: 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.

Future options for higher density optical and RF connectors are planned as the supporting standards become available. Organizations such as The Open Group Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Consortium are specifying additional types and apertures for VITA 67.3.

The Model 54851 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 1,700 DSP slices) to the high-performance KU115 (with 5,520 DSP slices). The KU115 is ideal for demanding modulation/demodulation, encoding/decoding, encryption/decryption, and channelization 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 54851 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 Model 54851 includes optional high-bandwidth connections to the Kintex UltraScale FPGA for custom digital I/O.

With the Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGA, data converters and optical or RF I/O, the Model 54851 becomes an excellent high performance interface to HF or IF ports of a communications or radar system.

Pentek’s Navigator Design Suite was designed from the ground up to work with Pentek’s Jade architecture and Xilinx’s Vivado Design Suite providing an unparalleled plug-and-play solution to the complex task of IP and control software creation and compatibility. Graphical design entry for Xilinx and Pentek AXI4-compliant IP modules using the Xilinx IP Integrator greatly speeds development tasks. The Navigator Design Suite consists of two components: Navigator FDK (FPGA Design Kit) for integrating custom IP into Pentek sourced designs and Navigator BSP (Board Support Package) for creating host applications. Users can work efficiently at the API level for software development and with an intuitive graphical interface for IP design. The Navigator BSP is available for Windows and Linux operating systems.

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