Pentek, Inc., today announced new features for its ReadyFlow board support package (BSP) to simplify embedded development for the popular Cobalt, Xilinx Virtex-6 based FPGA module family. Enhancements include a Command Line Interface that allows the hardware to run out-of-the-box without having to write any code and the introduction of a turn-key Signal Analyzer for data display, validation and monitoring.

“Customers using our Cobalt modules in embedded applications, such as software-defined radios for bridging multi-national emergency and security radio standards, will really benefit from these new ReadyFlow features,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. “High-performance data acquisition and signal processing modules usually require a minimum amount of programming to get the boards up and running. ReadyFlow’s new Command Line Interface allows customers to control the hardware by entering live operational parameters directly from the keyboard with no code development. The user-friendly Signal Analyzer displays live signals acquired by the modules, providing a highly-interactive and intuitive method of validating operation. Used together, these two new resources can dramatically slash application development efforts,” he concluded.

Turn-key Functionality

ReadyFlow provides users of Pentek’s Cobalt module family with a variety of tools to help them at all stages of application development. There are numerous C-callable functions to handle initialization and test, data movement and communications and control of all board resources. Utilities such as Flash program memory loaders are also included, as are fully-tested C-language application examples that demonstrate the capabilities of Pentek’s modules and serve as a springboard for application development. Library and example source code is also included.

ReadyFlow board support package

No Code Generation or Compiling Needed

The new Command Line Interface of pre-compiled executables is specific to the hardware features of the board it supports. It allows single-command control of parameters such as the number of enabled channels, clock frequency, data transfer size and the like. The Command Line Interface is callable from within a larger user application, providing a convenient way to configure the hardware. Operating parameters can be dynamically changed while the application is running to address application conditions.

Signal Analyzer Displays Immediate Results

When used with the Command Line Interface, the new Signal Analyzer allows users to immediately start acquiring and displaying A/D data. Data display is available in both time and frequency domains and includes built-in measurements for many standard parameters such as 2nd and 3rd harmonics and total harmonic distortion (THD). Interactive cursors also allow users to mark data points and instantly calculate frequency and amplitude of displayed signals.

“The new Signal Analyzer can help speed development in several ways. For one, it provides an immediate sanity check on the hardware, ensuring developers of the board’s functionality before installing their application software,” said Bob Sgandurra, product manager for Pentek. He added, “The user-friendly, virtual instrument display also allows developers to see their incoming signal’s characteristics so they know exactly what they are dealing with.”

Pricing and Availability

The enhanced ReadyFlow BSP is immediately available for Pentek’s Cobalt module family in both Windows (Model 4495A) and Linux (Model 4494A) operating systems. Cobalt modules are available for XMC, VPX, cPCI and PCIe form factors. Each ReadyFlow package is specific to the module it supports. The single developer license fee is USD $2,500 and allows royalty-free use of application and example code for multiple projects and includes lifetime support.