January 16, 2012 -- Pentek, Inc. has introduced the first member of its high-performance Onyx family, the Model 71760 4-channel, 200-MHz A/D XMC module based on the Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA family.
Pentek's Onyx modules use the same modular I/O interfaces as the Virtex-6 FPGA Cobalt family, while boosting memory, logic and I/O performance. The Onyx Model 71760, for example, is similar to the Cobalt 71660, but has twice the memory capacity and I/O bandwidth, addressing the most challenging unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), radar and communication applications.
"With higher-speed A/Ds and D/As, and tougher DSP algorithms, we needed more horsepower to keep pace," said Rodger Hosking, Vice President of Pentek. "Pentek leveraged the modular architecture of the Cobalt family, along with the latest Xilinx FPGA technology, to provide a broader range of price and performance options and a future path for the most demanding signal processing applications." Hosking added that Pentek intends to release at least twelve additional Onyx family modules during 2012.
Boosting performance, retaining architecture
As the first in the Onyx product line, the Model 71760 exemplifies the relationship of the Onyx and Cobalt families. The Onyx Model 71760 shares many of the same architectural and front-end characteristics as the similar Cobalt Model 71660 module: a four-channel, 16-bit, 200-MHz A/D, external sample clock synchronization, and a VITA 42.0 XMC-compatible switched fabric interface.
The similarity of the two families gives developers the opportunity to port software developed for Cobalt modules to the corresponding Onyx modules with a minimum of effort. All ReadyFlow tools work with both families, further simplifying the software-development effort.
Architectural enhancements in the Onyx family include a doubling of the DDR3 memory in both size and speed to 4GBytes and 1600MHz, respectively. The PCIe interface has been upgraded to Gen 3, delivering peak speeds up to 8GBps. The 71760 FPGA comes preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for data capture, synchronization, tagging and formatting, making the board an ideal turn-key interface for radar, communications or general data acquisition applications. For systems that require custom functions, IP can be developed using the Xilinx ISE Design Software and the Pentek GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, extending or even replacing the factory installed functions. The Onyx architecture now includes enhanced FPGA loading modes to simplify live reconfiguration.
Pricing and Availability
The Model 71760 XMC module with 4GBytes of memory starts at $15,995, with versions also in PCIe, cPCI and VPX formats. Additional FPGA options are available and Pentek expects to release advanced mezzanine card (AMC), ruggedized and extended temperature versions of the Model 71760 later in 2012. Delivery is 12-14 weeks ARO.
Pentek intends to release at least twelve additional Onyx family modules during 2012.
Go to the Pentek, Inc. website to find additional information.