0121 Mw Pentek Dac And Adc Subsystems

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.