Ruggedised versions of integrated FMC for harsh military environments

28th September 2015
Jordan Mulcare

Pentek has introduced two products in its FlexorSet series of integrated FMC sub-systems, combining its Flexor line of FMC modules and Virtex-7 FPGA FMC carriers. FlexorSets are preconfigured with optimised IP and fully supported with software development tools. The FlexorSet Model 5973-312 for 3U VPX and Model 7070-312 for PCIe, utilise the Flexor Model 3312 4-Channel A/D and D/A FMC installed on either of two Flexor FMCcarriers.

These FlexorSets combine the high performance of the Virtex-7 and optical interconnects with the flexibility of the multichannel FMC data converter, creating a complete powerful radar and software radio sub-system.

The Model 5973-312 3U VPX FlexorSet features a high pin-count VITA 57.1 FMC site, 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, PCI Express (Gen. 1, 2 and 3) interface up to eight times, optional user-configurable gigabit serial I/O and optional LVDS connections to the FPGA for custom I/O. It 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 Gb backplane communications between boards independent of the PCIe interface.

The Model 7070-312 PCIe FlexorSet features all of the same resources, except its optical interfaces are brought to MTP connectors compatible with industry standard cables.

“Combining FMCs and carriers from different vendors can be challenging. In addition to checking hardware compatibility, custom FPGA IP must be developed along with supporting software libraries. The FlexorSet product strategy of bundling FMCs, carriers, critical IP and software allows Pentek to deliver complete solutions ready to be integrated into the customer’s system,” said Bob Sgandurra, Director of Product Management, Pentek. “Pentek also becomes the first supplier to offer VITA 66.4 backplane optical solutions on a VPX carrier and compatible optical cable interfaces on a PCIe FMC carrier."

Both FlexorSets come pre-configured with a suite of built-in functions for data capture, synchronisation, time tagging and formatting, all tailored and optimised for the FMC and carrier. This IP enables high performance capture and delivery of data to provide an suitable turn-key signal interface for radar, communications or general DAQ applications, eliminating the integration effort typically left for the user when integrating the FMC and carrier.

FlexorSet presents system integrators with an ideal development and deployment platform for custom IP. The Pentek GateFlow FPGA design kit gives users 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 slashes development time during testing. For deployed environments, GateXpress enables reloading the FPGA without the need to reset the host system, suitable 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. The ReadyFlow C-callable library contains a complete suite of initialisation, control and status functions, as well as a rich set of precompiled, ready-to-run-examples, accelerate application development.

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