0121 Mw Pentek Dac And Adc Subsystems 601037fd3ae5c

Rugged DAC/ADC Subsystems Suit Platform Integration

Jan. 26, 2021
Conduction-cooled, wideband RF/IF DACs and ADCs sport Pentek’s Quartz architecture and Xilinx’s Zynq RFSoC FPGAs.

A pair of 8-channel data-conversion subsystems from Pentek has joined the company’s Quartz RFSoC Architecture family, bringing a rugged, small form-factor package to a host of mil/aero applications. The Model 6350S and Model 6353S (Gen 3 RFSoC), eight-channel analog-to-digital (ADC) and digital-to-analog (DAC) converter subsystems. Based on Pentek’s QuartzXM eXpress modules that utilize Xilinx’s5 Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC FPGA, the Model 6350S and Model 6353S are very suitable for SIGINT and COMINT, military communications, EW countermeasures, radar transceiver, test and measurement, SATCOM, LiDAR, 5G and LTE wireless applications.

The Model 6350S and Model 6353S are complete self-contained RF converter and processing subsystems in a small mounting frame. Requiring only a single 12-V power supply, the subsystems can be integrated as a component in a larger system with minimal design effort. All analog I/O and control and communication interfaces are easily accessible with industry-standard connectors, simplifying connections to other system components. The bottom surface of the subsystem provides an efficient thermal interface enabling conduction cooling and allowing fan-less operation in most installations.

Optimized for size, weight, and power (SWaP), the Model 6350S and Model 6353S are very small in size, measuring 1.5" H x 4.6" W x 6.7" D and weighing just under 30 oz. They’re intended for use in the customer’s enclosures and will do well in challenging and harsh environments.

The front end of the Model 6350S (Gen 1 RFSoC) accepts analog IF or RF inputs up to 4 GHz on eight coax connectors with transformer coupling to eight 4-GS/s, 12-bit A/D converters, delivering either real or complex DDC samples. Additional IP-based decimation filters provide overall DDC decimation from 2 to 128. Eight DACs accept baseband real or complex data streams from the FPGA’s programmable logic. Each 6.4-GS/s, 14-bit DAC includes a digital upconverter with independent tuning and interpolations of 1x, 2x, 4x, and 8x. All ADCs and DACs are transformer-coupled to wideband coax cable connectors.

The Model 6353S (Gen 3 RFSoC) boosts the input signal bandwidth to 6 GHz using a 5-GS/s, 14-bit ADC with additional decimation settings. The DAC rate increases from 6.4 to 10 GS/s.

The Model 6350S and Model 6353S support eight 28-Gb/s, full-duplex lanes using RFSoC GTY gigabit serial ports. With the built-in 100-GigE UDP interface or installation of a user-provided serial protocol, this interface delivers a high-speed gigabit data streaming path between the Model 6350S or Model 6353S and other identical sub-systems, optical transceivers, data storage, or other processing systems.

The Model 635xS subsystems come pre-loaded with a suite of Pentek IP modules to provide data capture, timing, interface, and processing solutions for many common applications. Modules include DMA engines, DDR4 memory controllers, test signal and metadata generators, data packing, and flow control.

To streamline IP development, the subsystems are bundled with Pentek's Navigator Design Suite, which includes the Navigator FDK (FPGA Design Kit) for custom IP and Navigator BSP (Board Support Package) for creating host software applications.

The Navigator FDK includes the board’s entire FPGA design as a block diagram that can be graphically edited in Xilinx's Vivado tool suite, with full source code and documentation. Developers can integrate their IP along with the factory-installed functions or use the Navigator kit to replace the IP with their own. The Navigator FDK Library is fully AXI-4 compliant, providing a well-defined interface for developing custom IP or integrating IP from other sources.

The Navigator BSP supports Xilinx’s PetaLinux on the ARM processors. Users can work efficiently using high-level API functions or gain full access to the underlying libraries including source code. Pentek provides numerous examples to assist in the development of new applications.

QuartzXM eXpress subsystems options for FPGA speed grade, and memory are available. The Navigator BSP and the Navigator FDK includes free lifetime support. The products are in production now with delivery 8-12 weeks ARO.


About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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