Military Embedded Systems

FMC/VPX carrier from Pentek has optical backplane interface


January 21, 2014

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

FMC/VPX carrier from Pentek has optical backplane interface

PHOENIX,. Pentek released a new FMC carrier board that has an optical backplane interface making it ideal for high-level signal processing applications such as radar and Software Defined Radio (SDR). The 3U VPX product -- the Model 5973 -- is the first one from of Pentek's new Flexor line of FMC (FPGA Mezzanine Card) carriers and FMC modules. Pentek released the product this week at the Embedded Tech Trends conference in Phoenix.

It uses a Virtex-7 FPGA and the Model 3312 multichannel with a high speed data converter FMC. The device features a high pin-count VITA 57.1 FMC site, 4 GB of DDR3 SDRAM, PCI Express (Gen. 1, 2 and 3) interface up to x8, optional user-configurable gigabit serial I/O and optional LVDS connections to the FPGA for custom I/O.

The Flexor Model 5973 improves I/O performance by using the emerging VITA 66.4 standard for half size MT optical interconnect, providing 12 optical duplex lanes to the backplane. With this installation of a serial protocol, the VITA-66.4 interface then enables gigabit backplane communications between boards independent of the PCIe interface.

The Flexor Model 3312 FMC surpasses the speed and density of previous products with four 250 MHz 16-bit A/Ds and two 800 MHz 16-bit D/As. Its high pin-count FMC connector matches the new Virtex-7 FPGA carrier, boosting performance levels and adding flexibility.

The Flexor Model 5973 comes preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for synchronization, data capture,, time tagging, and formatting -- designed for specific FMC modules, such as the Flexor Model 3312. This eliminates the integration effort typically left for the user when integrating FMC and carrier.

For development and software support it uses the Pentek GateFlow FPGA Design Kit. Pentek's GateXpress PCIe Configuration Manager also supports dynamic FPGA reconfiguration though software commands as part of the runtime application. This enables efficient reloading of the FPGA, which happens many times during development. For deployed environments, GateXpress also allows reloading the FPGA without the need to reset the host system. The Pentek ReadyFlow Board Support Package is available for Linux and Windows operating systems.

The Flexor Model 3312 FMC and Flexor Model 5973 VPX carrier target air-cooled, conduction-cooled, and rugged operating environments. The F3312 starts at $2,495 USD and the 5973 module with 4 GB of memory starts at $14,995 USD. Delivery is 8-10 weeks ARO for all models.


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