Pentek Unveils Model 6890 Clock, Sync, Gate Distribution Board

Pentek, Inc., a pioneer in VME board-level technology, released its Model 6890, a 2.2 GHz clock, synch and gate distribution board for synchronizing multiple Pentek I/O modules. The Model 6890 facilitates sampling and timing for a wide range of multichannel, high-speed data-acquisition, DSP and software-radio applications. Configured as a 6U VME board, the Model 6890 synchronizes up to eight modules, each receiving a common clock up to 2.2 GHz along with timing signals for synchronizing, triggering and gating functions. The Model 6890 currently supports Pentek’s Model 6826 Dual 2-GHz, 10-bit A/D Converter VME board.

Developed specifically to address the critical timing needs of synchronous multi-channel data-acquisition and DSP systems, the Model 6890 board simplifies system integration tasks. For example, when combined with eight Model 6826 Dual-Channel 2-GHz, 10-bit A/D Modules, the resulting system provides 16 A/D converters all sampling at 2 GHz, plus eight FPGAs with a total of 352,000 programmable slices and 800,000 logic cells. Additional resources of up to 8 Gbyte of DDR memory and 128 Mbytes of FLASH provide a complete real-time data acquisition and DSP environment for extremely wide band signals.

As Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc., points out, “System developers of radar, telemetry and direction-finding communication systems operating at GHz frequencies have an especially tough job to make sure that all channels are sampling, triggering and capturing signals at precisely the same time. The 6890 saves our customers the costs and risks of developing their own custom timing solution, and we guarantee compatibility with our Model 6826 2-GHz A/D board.”

The Model 6826 Dual 2-GHz, 10-bit A/D with Virtex-II Pro FPGA – VME/VXS Board
The Model 6826 features single- or dual-channel data acquisition at 2 Gsamples/second with 10-bit resolution using the Atmel AT84AS008 A/D device. By accepting single-ended transformer or DC-coupled inputs, the board preserves signal integrity across a variety of analog signal sources.

Since its introduction into the marketplace more than a year ago, this product has opened up a whole new range of previously unattainable frequencies and applications. It directly digitizes signal bandwidths up to nearly 900 MHz, thereby capturing wideband radar and communication signals as a single channel instead of digitizing several smaller bandwidth slices. The inclusion of the Virtex-II Pro FPGA is essential for processing these wideband signals to extract information and reduce data rates to a manageable level within the system.

The AT84AS008 combines dynamic performance, compactness and ease of use to speed system development with Pentek’s high-performance VME board.

On-Board Signal Processing: With this density equivalent of more than 11 million system gates, the Xilinx XC2VP100 Virtex-II Pro FPGA offers a powerful signal-processing resource for the formidable stream of data from the A/D converters. On-board logic first de-multiplexes the 2-GHz raw 10-bit A/D samples by a factor of eight, producing 80-bit words at a reduced rate of 250 MHz for successful delivery to the FPGA. The FPGA then performs various standard functions on the data, including memory transfers, formatting, triggering, gating and delivery to the FPDP and VMEbus interfaces. The FPGA also handles the switched, serial-fabric VXS interface using the on-chip RocketIO Gbit serial transceivers.

Since most of the logic and DSP resources remain unused for these factory functions, developers can take advantage of these parallel-processing structures to implement custom signal-processing algorithms and process captured data in real time. To simplify FPGA development tasks, Pentek offers its GateFlow FPGA Resources, which include the GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, GateFlow IP Cores Libraries and GateFlow factory installed IP Cores. In addition, Pentek’s ReadyFlow libraries enable the user to control the Model 6826 across the backplane from SBC and DSP boards through high-level C-callable commands.

Extensive Memory that Supports Transient Capture and Buffering: The Model 6826 also features extensive memory resources. Dual 64-bit high-speed DDR SDRAMs provide a total of 512 Mbytes or 1 Gbyte of memory to store raw data in transient-capture mode. The memory can also be used as an elastic buffer for storing burst signals like radar pulses in real time and subsequent delivery to the I/O interfaces at a lower continuous rate. Custom FPGA configurations can take advantage of this large memory for more complex applications. Flash memory of 16 Mbytes allows boot-code storage for the two IBM 405 PowerPC micro-controller cores within the FPGA.

Wideband Output Interface Options: To support high-bandwidth data capture, the board includes several high-speed I/O channels to move the raw data off-board for storage or processing. Two or four channels of FPDP-II data ports, operating at up to 400 MB/s each, deliver processed and de-multiplexed data through legacy connections to other VME cards. In addition, the board offers two serial switched-fabric VXS connections, each running full-duplex at 1.25 Gbyte/s to support the Xilinx Aurora, Serial RapidIO and PCI Express protocols. LVDS I/O is also available at either front- or rear-panel connections.

Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the Model 6890 starts at $4,995 USD, with availability at 8 to 10 weeks ARO. The single-channel version of the Model 6826 starts at $19,345 USD, with availability at 8 to 10 weeks ARO.

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 Gbit serial interfaces and offers strong DSP software support.

Pentek and GateFlow 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. 770; Fax 201-818-5904; Email

International Sales Contacts
Elexo in France 0141221023, VSystems Electronic GmbH in Germany at 892737630, VSystems s.r.l. in Italy at 0119661319, VSystems AB in Sweden at 84441550, VSystems UK at 1494476000, Sela Electronic Systems in Israel at 36479969, MISH International in Japan at 425387650, Beijing BetaOne Sysjob Ltd. in China at 1082784106 and Acetronix Co. Ltd. in Korea at 24202343.