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Pentek Announces Industry's Highest-Speed Data Acquisition Module

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:20am
Data Acquisition ModulePentek announced its fastest-ever data acquisition module for the popular Cobalt family. Capable of digitizing one 12-bit channel at 3.6 GHz, or two channels at 1.8 GHz, the Model 71640 nearly quadruples the signal bandwidth that can be handled on a single channel. Further, the 71640 has provisions for the synchronization of multiple boards for capture and analysis of even wider bandwidths.

“The 71640 provides a substantial jump in speed over our existing 1 GHz A/D modules and will take customers into new wideband radar and communication applications where 1500 MHz bandwidth signals can now be digitized by a single A/D,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. “This makes the 71640 ideal for UAV applications where weight and space are tightly constrained.”

Leveraging the National Semiconductor ADC12D1800 12-bit A/D converter, the 71640 provides two transformer-coupled RF input ports that can operate in single- or dual-channel mode. As with all Cobalt modules, the 71640 also includes an on-board Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA for customer-specific data processing. The module includes four banks of 256 MB DDR3 SDRAM and built in triggered data capture functions for acquiring precise data blocks. An optimized multi-channel DMA engine provides efficient data movement over the Gen2 x8 PCIe interface to host processors. An optional 8x, or dual 4x, gigabit serial I/O interface allows users to support application specific protocols and create high-bandwidth paths between modules or to additional signal processing engines.

Radar and broadband communications signal acquisition are prime applications for the 71640. To capture wideband signals with previous-generation A/D modules, developers needed to split those signals into smaller overlapping bands and use multiple A/Ds to digitize those bands. This created challenges whenever the target signal fell in the overlap band. The
71640’s wide bandwidth now allows system designers to eliminate the pitfalls of such overlap processing while also saving system costs of the band-splitting filters and multiple data acquisition boards.

For even wider bandwidths or for multi-channel systems, the 71640 offers a unique synchronization bus that works with a companion timing module for sample-accurate synchronization of multiple Cobalt modules.

As with other Cobalt family members, the 71640 is ready to use out-of-the-box as a fully-featured data acquisition module. Pentek’s ReadyFlow board support package for the 71640 allows quick configuration of the board’s many features including a linked-list DMA engine and automatic appending of metadata and time stamps to support storage and post-capture analysis of acquired signals. In addition, Pentek’s GateFlow tool provides developers with libraries and design support for implementing their own real-time analysis using the on-board Virtex-6 FPGA.

Pricing and Availability
The 71640 is available 12 weeks ARO starting at $17,445 USD in the XMC format. Pentek also offers cPCI, PCIe, VPX and ruggedized, extended-temperature versions of the 71640.

About Pentek
Pentek develops, manufactures and markets innovative DSP systems to original equipment manufacturers, distributors and value-added resellers. Pentek offers powerful VME, VPX, VXS, PMC, XMC, cPCI, PCI, PCIe boards for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing featuring Texas Instruments C6000 DSPs, Freescale G4 PowerPCs and Xilinx FPGAs. Pentek's I/O includes A/Ds, D/As, FPGAs, digital up/downconverters and more. Pentek equips all products with high-performance I/O including gigabit serial interfaces and offers strong DSP software support.
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