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Spring 2006 Vol. 15 No. 1   


Product Focus: Model 2503 High-Speed Real-Time Recording System

The Pentek's Model 2503 recording system is a scalable platform for acquiring, processing and analyzing wideband signals. Integrating recently-introduced A/D converters, FPGAs and signal processors, this system allows the design engineer to take advantage of the latest technology for signal processing.

Scalable from 1 to 20 channels in a single 6U VMEbus chassis, the Model 2503 serves equally well as a development platform for advanced research projects and proof-of-concept prototypes, or as a cost-effective strategy to deploying high-performance, multichannel embedded systems.

The Model 2503 is equipped with SystemFlow Recording Software API and Development Libraries for an out-of-the-box, GUI-enabled recording system. This software can also be used as a system example for building new applications.

Model 2503 Block Diagram

Inside the Model 2503

Model 2503 high-speed real-time recording system accepts signals through a Model 6822 Dual-Channel 12-bit D/A Converter sampling at a maximum frequency of 215 MHz. The digitized outputs are passed through two Xilinx Virtex-II Pro FPGAs for signal processing and data handling. A Pentek Model 4205 I/O Processor, featuring a 1 GHz MPC7457 G4 PowerPC and two Xilinx Virtex-II Pro FPGAs, manages data transfer tasks and performs signal processing or formatting functions.

Built-in Fibre Channel and optional RACE++ interfaces provide excellent I/O connectivity without sacrificing any of the board's mezzanine sites. Standard RS-232 and 100 BaseT Ethernet ports allow the PowerPC to communicate with a wide range of host workstations for control and software development applications.

SystemFlow API and Libraries

SystemFlow software has a modular design that includes API libraries for the target board as well as user-control libraries for the host PC. Windows DLL calls are written in Visual C++ and a GUI is provided as a front-end PC host system. The PC host front end communicates over Ethernet with the royalty-free eCos real-time operating system running on the system's G4 PowerPC board, which executes real-time application code.

API libraries for both host and target include full source code, allowing developers to easily modify both the platform front end and target code to meet their needs. The software package also includes a data viewer, written in LabView, that shows display plots of collected data in either time or frequency domain. Developers can use the viewer to preview data before storage or to review stored data.

New Development Platform Handles Wideband Real-Time Recording

Pentek Model 2503
  • Dual-channel 12-bit, 215 MHz A/Ds
  • GHz G4 PowerPC
  • Multiple Xilinx Virtex-II and Virtex-II PRO FPGAs
  • Real-time recording to RAID or JBOD arrays
    up to 160 MBytes/sec
  • SystemFlow® API and development Libraries
  • Highly scalable platform from 1 to 20 A/D channels
  • Custom FPGA algorithm development
  • Ethernet link to Linux or Windows
  • High-speed interfaces available: RACE++,
    Gigabit Ethernet, VXS

For more information, click here.



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