RF Engines Limited (RFEL) has set what it believes to be an unprecedented performance benchmark for commercially available Pipeline Fast Fourier Transform (PFFT) cores on FPGA. The HyperSpeed Plus cores have been proven to process complex data streams in continuous real-time at data rates in excess of 52 Giga samples per second for a 2048 point FFT implemented on a Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA device. The new cores are the result of further optimization of RFEL’s well established ‘HyperSpeed’ range of PFFT cores from its family of award winning Digital Signal Processing (DSP) solutions.
The cores are intended for use in applications where extreme processing speed is required within minimum silicon resources, such as wideband surveillance and scientific or test instrumentation. When coupled with the latest Analogue-to-Digital Converter devices, the HyperSpeed FFT is the ultimate real-time spectrum analyzer, capable of analyzing tens of GHz of bandwidth continuously in real-time.
The latest HyperSpeed FFT has been architected to run on Xilinx FPGAs, with lengths from 32 to 128K point and with longer lengths available by request. Bit-widths and internal memory partitioning are fully adjustable to meet a customer’s requirements using the minimum amount of silicon resources. All this is backed up by a fully bit-accurate Matlab model that is used to verify operation and tune performance as required.
“We have achieved these order-of-magnitude speed increases via a combination of factors,” explained John Summers, RFEL’s CEO. “We constantly research and develop within our product range to extract the maximum possible performance from the very latest technology that the FPGA vendors like Xilinx have to offer. RFEL’s detailed and extensive knowledge of the silicon resources of the target FPGA, at the most detailed level, continues to give our product’s designs the edge on our competitors’ offerings. Importantly, these new cores were created within our tried and tested design flow, so that they are robust, reliable and flexible.
“There are many FFT cores commercially available and some are even supplied free by the chip vendors, but these are more limited in capability and harder to optimize for performance. When a customer needs a really high performance solution, often implemented within a constrained FPGA device utilizing limited resources, they turn to us. RF Engines is the only company with the skills and experience to balance the trade-offs and deliver solutions that are right at the boundaries of possible performance.”
The HyperSpeed Plus cores are available now for licence in netlist form as a component ready to be integrated into a customer’s own IP, or as part of an integrated design solution from RFEL. In both cases the cores are supplied with both VHDL and Matlab models and associated test environments. Costs vary by the number of points and the performance-throughput requirements, but typically range from $10K - $30K.