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Upper Saddle River, NJ - April 13, 2010 - Pentek is introducing 14 products in their new family of 3U VPX boards for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing. These new boards offer flexible backplane fabric connections supporting maximum data rates of up to 4 GB/sec with Generation 2 PCI Express and 2.5 GB/sec with other protocols. The 3U VPX form factor is compact and extremely well suited for avionics, including UAVs, shipboard and airborne radar and signal intelligence applications.
According to Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, " Pentek's new VPX modules fully support the OpenVPX standard (VITA 65) for improved interoperability among vendors and long term availability." He went on to explain, "The latest embedded system designs have shifted strongly towards serial-fabric based architectures for faster board-to-board data transfers to handle higher signal bandwidths and more powerful FPGAs and processors. Our new product line represents the industry's highest performance and most comprehensive VPX offerings."
Each of the new 3U x8 VPX modules feature a Generation 2 (PCI Express 2.0) PCI Express interface. The PCI Express interface includes a bridge that provides PCIe lane-width negotiation for x1, x4, x8 or x16 data transfers over the VPX backplane. "This lane-width negotiation is very convenient", said Marc Ruocco, product manager. "It lets our products easily adapt to different PCIe lane widths presented by other modules in the system."
All modules feature a fabric-transparent crossbar switch that delivers many benefits. First, it allows flexible assignment of the PCIe interface lanes to backplane connector pins so system integrators can easily match a diverse range of backplane topologies. Second, the switch supports other gigabit serial protocols for moving data, such as Xilinx Aurora and Serial Rapid I/O. The switch simply passes the gigabit serial traffic from one port to another, totally independent of any particular protocol. Multiple data streams can be sent through the switch simultaneously. Lastly, the switch allows each module to act as a VPX switch, to manage serial fabric connections to and from other modules across the backplane.
Each of the first 14 products announced offer a distinctive feature set with a wide range of capabilities: high-speed A/D converters from 105 to 500 MHz with 12- to 16-bit resolution; Xilinx Virtex FPGA products; D/A converters to 800 MHz with 16-bit resolution; wideband and narrowband digital downconverters and upconverters with channel counts from 2 to 256; and multi-frequency clock synthesizers from 20 to 500 MHz.
These VPX products comply with the VPX REDI specification and can be supplied in both air-cooled and conduction-cooled versions.
The ReadyFlow Board Support package includes project files and examples to demonstrate all board features. ReadyFlow supports Windows, Linux and VxWorks operating systems.
Pentek's GateFlow FPGA Design Kit enables the onboard FPGA to be configured by the user for implementation of custom pre-processing functions such as FFTs, FIR filters and software-radio blocks. The kit includes VHDL source files and works in conjunction with the Xilinx ISE Foundation design tools.
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