RF Engines Limited (RFEL), the supplier of high performance FPGA-based design solutions, now has available a new datasheet on its ‘HyperSpeed’ range of high-performance FFT cores on its website. The cores are factory scalable in terms of transform length and processing parallelism and can be built to optimally process complex data streams with very high sample rates from 400MS/s to several GS/s. The cores use a parallel pipelined processing architecture, which allows continuous real time data to be processed with no gaps between frames.
HyperSpeed FFT cores are intended for use in applications where processing speed is critical and optimum use of available silicon is required. Targeted at Xilinx Virtex 4 and Virtex5 families of FPGA, they can deliver continuous real time processing of complex data to several Giga Samples per second.
The FFT pipeline is built from ‘M’ individual FFTs, each with a transform length of ‘N’-points. Common resources are shared between the individual FFTs (such as twiddle factor generation, control etc). Frequency-domain outputs from the N-point FFTs are ‘twiddled’ and combined using an M-point DFT, which is implemented as a fully parallel pipelined FFT. The HyperSpeed architecture can support transform lengths that are integer powers of two using existing ‘off-the-shelf’ building blocks. Other transform lengths can be built using RFEL’s Matrix FFT prime-length building blocks.
The ability to perform spectral analysis at such high sample rates in real time opens up significant opportunities in a number of key market areas, including:
- Electronic warfare systems will be capable of detecting events across wide bandwidths with significantly reduced equipment costs.
- Instrumentation manufacturers can use the cores to develop spectrum analysers with GHz bandwidths that allow real-time detection and analysis of very wideband signals, such as Ultra Wideband (UWB), in the frequency domain for the first time.
- In the rapidly growing Software Defined Radio (SDR) area, the cores will allow a receiver to encompass more communications standards and frequency bands, increasing the flexibility of the radio.
- Radio astronomy applications will also benefit from the increased bandwidth and finer frequency resolutions, allowing spectrometers to be built that cover a wider signal detection range or with greater sensitivity, improving the systems for probing deep space.
The cores are available for licence in netlist macro form as a component ready to be combined with customer’s own IP or as part of an integrated design from RFEL.
About RF Engines
RF Engines Limited (RFEL) is a UK based electronic systems designer, providing high specification signal processing solutions for FPGAs, as well as receiver and complete product solutions for the homeland security, defence, communications and instrumentation markets. Applications include communications base stations, satellite communications systems, test and measurement instrumentation, and bespoke wideband receivers/transceivers.