Pentek Rolls Out 7700 Family of Software Defined Radio PCIe Boards

The 7700 series is the latest family of Pentek software defined radio products and the first to feature the PCI Express (PCIe) form factor with advanced connectivity options. Pentek’s new series comprises five products: the Models 7741, 7742, 7750, 7751 and 7752. Each offers a unique set of software radio features in a full-length PCI Express (PCIe) board with the very latest Gen 2 PCIe x16 interface. This emerging standard for high-end PCs, blade servers, and enterprise computers delivers fast interconnect links for economical, high-performance system solutions.

Pentek 7700 Family of Software Defined Radio PCIe Boards“Pentek’s new PCIe product line leverages this technology for our most popular designs,” says Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, “By using numerous gigabit serial links, our design engineers have boosted effective data throughput between modules and the motherboard to minimize bottlenecks. In addition, our customers gain new options for FPGA connectivity and system topology. These high-density, PCIe solutions specifically target software radio, radar, telemetry and signal intelligence applications.”

Full Length PCI Express Boards
Since the 7700 boards are full-length PCIe boards, they incorporate up to two PMC/XMC modules, all within a single PCIe envelope. This doubles the channel count of earlier models, and delivers a lot of performance in a very small volume. Customers can utilize the PCIe interface for motherboard connections and XMC interfaces for gigabit links between modules and other boards. This flexibility allows users to build high-speed multi-board PC systems at relatively low costs.

“The 7700 boards excel in connectivity options and Pentek’s unique design now brings powerful Xilinx FPGA platforms to the PC arena,” said Tom Feist, ISE Design Suite senior marketing director at Xilinx. “PCIe, PCI-X, and XMC interfaces connect to on-board Xilinx FPGAs streamlining data flow directly across these links. By choosing from many available IP core interfaces, these products can be tailored to meet specific protocols, including Aurora, the streaming link-layer protocol from Xilinx.”

Specifics for the Five 7700 Series Boards
Each of the five software radio boards offers specific resources including channel count, bandwidth, FPGA population and more. This allows customers to choose exactly what they need for very cost-effective, high-density solutions.

The Model 7741 includes up to four 125 MHz, 14-bit A/Ds and four 500 MHz 16-bit D/As. It features one or two TI/Graychip GC4016 quad digital down converters with output bandwidths up to 10 MHz, and one or two digital up converters that accept baseband real or complex data streams with signal bandwidths up to 40 MHz. One or two Xilinx XC2VP50 Virtex-II Pro FPGAs serve as control and status engines with data and programming interfaces to each of the on-board resources, including the A/D converters, digital down converters, digital up converters and D/A converters.

The Model 7742 includes up to eight 125 MHz, 14-bit A/Ds, two up converters and two 500 MHz 16-bit D/As. The 7742 architecture also includes up to four Virtex-4 FPGAs.

The Model 7750 includes up to eight 200 MHz, 16-bit A/Ds, up to 3 MB of SDRAM, and up to four Virtex-5 FPGAs.

The 7751 is a 512-channel digital downconverter with up to eight 200 MHz A/Ds and up to four Virtex-5 FPGAs. This represents a tremendous amount of processing power in a single PCIe slot. It features independent tuning for each DDC channel, and decimation from 128 to 1024 in steps of 64.

Finally, the 7752 is a 64-channel downconverter with up to eight 200 MHz, 16-bit A/Ds and up to four Virtex-5 FPGAs. Each group of four A/Ds is supported by a high-performance 32-channel digital downconverter. DDC decimation ranges from 16 to 8192 in steps of 8.

Auxiliary Power Connector
Another feature common to all the boards in the Pentek 7700 family is the 4-pin disk drive power connector to ensure that the boards receive ample power from the host computer or server. This augments the power supplied through the PCIe backplane connector.

Firmware and Software Support
The Models 7741, 7742 and 7750 have user-configurable FPGAs, and Pentek supports customers with the GateFlow® Design Kits. Because the Model 7751 and 7752 have preinstalled FPGA digital downconverter IP cores, they do not require user programmability.

ReadyFlow® board support packages for Linux and Windows are available for all boards.