FMC/VPX carrier includes optical backplane interface
Pentek introduced the first members of its Flexor line of FMC (FPGA Mezzanine Card) carriers and FMC modules: the Model 5973 3U VPX FMC carrier with a Virtex-7 FPGA and the Model 3312 multichannel, high-speed data converter FMC. They combine the high performance of the Virtex-7 with the flexibility of the FMC data converter, creating a complete radar and software radio solution.
The Flexor Model 5973 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 delivers new levels of I/O performance by incorporating the emerging VITA 66.4 standard for half size MT optical interconnect, providing 12 optical duplex lanes to the backplane. With the installation of a serial protocol, the VITA-66.4 interface 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 data capture, synchronization, time tagging and formatting, all tailored and optimized for specific FMC modules, such as the Flexor Model 3312. Together, they provide an ideal turn-key signal interface for radar, communications or general data acquisition applications, eliminating the integration effort typically left for the user when integrating FMC and carrier.
Development tools and software support
While many applications can be satisfied with the board’s built-in functions, the Flexor Model 5973 is an ideal development and deployment platform for custom IP. Supported by the Pentek GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, users have access to the complete factory installed IP at the source level, allowing them to extend or even replace the built in functions.
The Pentek GateXpress PCIe Configuration Manager supports dynamic FPGA reconfiguration though software commands as part of the runtime application. This provides an efficient way to quickly reload the FPGA, which occurs many times during development. For deployed environments, GateXpress enables reloading the FPGA without the need to reset the host system, ideal for applications that require dynamic access to multiple processing IP algorithms.
The Pentek ReadyFlow Board Support Package is available for Windows and Linux operating systems. ReadyFlow is provided as a C-callable library, the complete suite of initialization, control and status functions, as well as a rich set of precompiled, ready-to-run-examples, accelerate application development.
Form factors, pricing, and availability
The Flexor Model 3312 FMC and Flexor Model 5973 VPX carrier are designed for air-cooled, conduction-cooled, and rugged operating environments. The Flexor Model 3312 starts at $2,495 USD. The Flexor Model 5973 module with 4 GB of memory starts at $14,995 USD. Delivery is 8-10 weeks ARO for all models.