Pentek Introduces Software Radio Transceiver PMC Module

Pentek, Inc., the industry pioneer of board- and system- level technology, released the newest member of its popular software radio transceiver modules: the Model 7142. The Model 7142 PMC module provides complete software radio transceiver functions suitable for IF or RF communication systems and offers increased capabilities, including dual Virtex-4 FPGAs, four A/D converters and 50 percent more memory. This module is also available in a variety of form factors including PCI, 3U and 6U cPCI, as well as a PMC conduction-cooled version.

“The Model 7142 is a successor to our popular Model 7140 for customers with demanding applications who need more of everything,” says Rodger Hosking, Pentek’s vice president. “We see customers dealing with more complex waveforms, more channels in radar and beam forming applications, and communication systems with wider bandwidths. These market forces drive the need for better DSP processing performance, high-speed interconnects and increased data sampling rates. With four 125 MHz A/D converters coupled to two powerful Virtex-4 FPGAs, the Model 7142 offers an excellent solution.”

Expanded Synchronization Capabilities
A built-in clock/sync bus supports multi-module synchronization as well as providing dual on-board oscillators for independent input and output clock rates. The bus allows synchronization of local oscillator phase, frequency switching, decimating filter phase and data collection among multiple Model 7142s.

One board acts as a master, driving clock, sync and gate signals out to a front-panel flat cable bus using Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS). The master alone can drive as many as seven slaves. By using a Pentek Model 9190 Clock and Sync Generator to drive the signals, developers can configure up to 80 boards to operate synchronously.

Enhanced FPGA Resources
Digitized RF signals from the four 14-bit 125 MHz A/D converters pass into a Virtex-4 SX55 FPGA for signal processing or routing to other module resources. These resources include a DC-to-160 MHz digital upconverter, a 16-bit 500 MHz D/A converter, 768 MB of DDR2 SDRAM and a Virtex-4 FX FPGA that handles I/O. The FX device includes both a PCI bus interface with 9-channel DMA controller and a VITA 42-compliant XMC dual 4x Gigabit serial interface to support switched fabrics with data rates up to 2.5 Gbytes/sec in each direction.

Factory-installed Virtex-4 SX55 functions include transient capture, advanced triggering modes and waveform playback along with control and programming interfaces to the other on-board resources. “These Virtex-4 FPGAs represent major performance improvements for the user,” notes Hosking. “They take advantage of jumps in technology with reduced power consumption, higher clock rates, more than twice as many DSP slices and significantly enhanced DSP slice functions.”

The module’s FPGA resources are all fully available to the user. In addition to taking advantage of factory pre-programming, which allows use of the Model 7142 out of the box, customers can implement their own DSP and data-handling functions using Pentek’s GateFlow development tools. These tools come as separate kits for each FPGA.

The design kit for the SX55 enables users to add their own IP to this FPGA, which specifically targets intensive signal processing algorithms. The SX55 features 512 DSP slices, making it ideal for demodulation/modulation, decoding/encoding, decryption/encryption, digital delay and channelization of the signals between reception and transmission. The design kit for the FX allows installation of IP cores for various Gigabit switched serial fabrics including Serial RapidIO, PCI Express and Aurora.

An optional version of the Model 7142 replaces the SX55 with the LX100 FPGA for applications requiring a maximum number of logic slices. This version is similarly supported with its own GateFlow Design Kit.

The Model 7142 also benefits from Pentek’s ReadyFlow Board Support Libraries of C-callable device functions. ReadyFlow simplifies board operation and set-up through easy-to-use function calls while offering low-level access to all of the board’s hardware. Pentek support libraries, device drivers and software development tools, plus third-party offerings, are all available for a variety of operating systems: Linux will be introduced first with Windows and VxWorks platforms to follow.

Pricing and Availability
Available 8-10 weeks ARO, the Model 7142 PMC module is priced at $13,500. Additional form factors include the 7242 6U cPCI board, 7342 3U cPCI board and 7642 PCI board.

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. 769; 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.