Pentek Debuts RTS 2504 Real-Time Multiband Recording and Playback Platform

Pentek, Inc., the industry pioneer of board-level technology, announced today the latest in its RTS family of real-time data recording and playback platforms, the RTS 2504. The RTS platforms are complete, fully integrated instruments featuring a range of A/D and D/A resources with high-speed links to cost-effective JBOD disk arrays. The RTS 2504 uses Pentek’s 7140 PMC radio transceiver module for acquiring live IF or RF analog signals for disk storage and playing back signal files through D/A converters to deliver IF or RF analog outputs. Occupying a single VMEbus slot, the RTS 2504 is a fully programmable development platform that offers the flexibility of FPGA technology and targets high-bandwidth data recording and playback applications such as radar, direction finding, SIGINT, telemetry and commercial wireless base stations.

“This fourth member of the RTS platform family represents big steps in both density and technology,” says Pentek vice president Rodger Hosking. “Our previous transceiver system required two different mezzanine cards, but the 7140 combines all functions in a single transceiver PMC module, freeing a mezzanine site for additional functions. New resources inside the 7140 include a Virtex-II Pro FPGA with on-board processors and gigabit serial interfaces, plus 512 Mbytes of fast, on-board SDRAM.”

RTS 2504 real-time data recording and playback platform

Like other RTS family members, the RTS 2504 benefits from Pentek’s SystemFlow application program interface (API) and development library software, which ensures a consistent look and feel for developers across all the RTS platforms. SystemFlow software allows developers to configure and customize the unit’s interfaces and behaviors. It includes code not only for the real-time data acquisition and playback system, but also for the user-control software running on the host PC, including the GUI. All source code and an API are provided, allowing developers to either modify the sample code to meet their needs or use it as a reference for custom software development.

Inside the RTS 2504
The RTS 2504 platform accepts signals through two 14-bit A/Ds sampling at up to 105 MHz and passes the signals to a Virtex-II Pro FPGA for signal processing and data handling. The FPGA works in conjunction with a 4-channel Graychip/TI GC4016 digital receiver to extract and tune narrowband channels with bandwidths ranging from audio up to 2.5 MHz.

For applications that require even wider bandwidths, Pentek offers the GateFlow IP Core 421 high-performance digital down-converter. Delivering output bandwidths up to 45 MHz, it can be factory installed on the 7140 PMC module. For high-channel count applications, Pentek offers the GateFlow IP Core 430 providing up to 256 digital down-converter channels with programmable bandwidths from 8 kHz to 80 kHz.

The unit can send the wideband or DDC output data through its built-in FibreChannel interface to record data on a hard disk array at speeds up to 160 Mbytes/sec.

In addition to the receiver section, the RTS 2504 offers a transmit section with interpolation filters, a digital upconverter and two 16-bit D/As. Drawing data from the disk array or other I/O, the upconverter mode supports frequency translation of baseband signals to IF frequencies as high as 160 MHz, delivering either real or I/Q analog outputs. In the D/A mode, two independent playback channels are interpolated and then delivered to the D/A converters at sampling rates up to 500 MHz.

The RTS 2504 occupies a single 6U VME card, allowing as many as 20 units to fit into a standard card cage. System developers can synchronize multiple modules to create a single system with as many as 40 transceiver channels.

FPGAs for Additional Functionality
Multiple FPGAs reside within the RTS 2504 hardware, providing engineers with the ability to add signal processing, formatting and data manipulation functions, directly within the data path, for both the input and output channels. Pentek supports developers’ in using the system’s FPGAs with its GateFlow FPGA Design Kit for custom IP development. The kit includes design information, software files, optimized DSP functions and development utilities. In addition, IP cores can also be pre-installed at the factory so customers can benefit from FPGA technology with zero development effort. Pentek’s GateFlow IP Cores include wideband and narrowband digital down-converters, Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs) and pulse-compression algorithms.

Pricing and Availability
The RTS 2504 data recording and playback platform hardware is priced starting at $26,995 USD, available Q3 2006. Developers who do not already have SystemFlow software can obtain the software separately for $8,500 USD.

About Pentek
Pentek develops, manufactures and markets innovative DSP systems to original equipment manufacturers, distributors and value-added resellers. Pentek offers powerful VME, VXS, PMC, XMC, cPCI and PCI 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/down converters and more. Pentek equips all products with high-performance I/O including gigabit serial interfaces and offers strong DSP software support.

Pentek, GateFlow, SystemFlow and RTS are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pentek, Inc.

North American Sales Contact: Mario Schiavone, Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458-2311; Telephone 201-818-5900, ext. 768; Fax 201-818-5904; Email

International Sales Contacts: VSystems SA in France at 130070060, VSystems Electronic GmbH in Germany at 892737630, VSystems s.r.l. in Italy at 119661319, VSystems AB in Sweden at 84441550, VSystems UK at 1494476000, Sela Electronic Systems in Israel at 36479969 and MISH International in Japan at 425387650, Beijing BetaOne Sysjob Ltd. in China at 1082784106 and Acetronix Co. Ltd. in Korea at 24202343. Please go online for a full list of international Pentek representatives and distributors.