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Pentek’s New Quartz RFSoC Development Platform Speeds Application Design

Low-cost, single-slot 3U VPX development chassis
Supports Pentek’s Quartz RFSoC FPGA products
Dual MPO optical interfaces support 100 GigE high-speed data streaming
Ideal for defense, radar, wireless, SIGINT and DRFM applications

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ-October 29, 2018-Pentek, Inc., today introduced the Model 8257 3U VPX development chassis for Pentek’s new Quartz RFSoC FPGA product line. Developed specifically for Pentek’s Model 5950 Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC 3U VPX processor, the Model 8257 chassis features a single-slot backplane, power supply, forced-air cooling and connectors to support all functions of the 5950. With eight 4 GHz 12-bit A/Ds and eight 6.4 GHz 14-bit D/As, the 5950 with the 8257 chassis provides an integrated platform ready for immediate development of RFSoC applications. By attaching a workstation, an engineer can create, test, run and debug custom software and FPGA designs.

Ready for Immediate Use
The Model 8257 is configured to accept the user’s Model 5950 Quartz 3U VPX board, which houses the Model 6001 QuartzXM (QuartzXM eXpress Module) containing the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC FPGA. The 8257 includes the Model 5901 rear transition module (RTM) for backplane I/O connections, along with all needed cables. Optional MPO (Multiple-Fiber Push-on/Pull-off) optical bulkhead connectors support the 5950’s dual 100 GigE interfaces using VITA 66.4.

This platform allows the user to start application and proof of concept designs immediately on a known, Developers can connect a notebook or desktop PC with Xilinx’s Vivado Design Suite and Pentek’s Navigator Design Suite to start development.

Providing power and cooling in a small desktop footprint, the chassis allows access to all required interfaces on the front panel and rear transition module. The Model 8257 is 7.59″ W x 12.12″ D x 16.75″ H, weighing in at 17.8 lbs. with its 250-Watt power supply.

“The alternative to the Model 8257 is having the user purchase and integrate his own chassis, which would be more expensive and time consuming,” said Bob Sgandurra, Pentek’s director of Product Management. “This development platform provides an immediate, out-of-the-box, and cost-effective solution, optimized for rapid RFSoC development.”

Development Environment
At the heart of the Model 5950 is Xilinx’s Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC FPGA. The FPGA is equipped with multi-core ARM processors, often eliminating the need for an additional single board computer. The FPGA supports communication interfaces typically found on general purpose processors including USB, RS-232, GbE and DisplayPort. The 5950’s rear transition module provides access to these interfaces as well as JTAG and general-purpose FPGA I/O.

Optical Interface
The Model 8257 can be equipped with optional dual MPO optical bulkhead connectors, fully compliant with ANSI/VITA 66.4, to support the Model 5950’s dual 100 GigE interfaces. The chassis uses these dual optical interfaces to handle high-speed data streaming for built-in factory example functions including data acquisition and waveform generation.

Navigator Design Suite for Streamlined IP Development
Pentek’s Navigator Design Suite includes Navigator FDK (FPGA Design Kit) for custom IP development and Navigator BSP (Board Support Package) for creating host software applications.

The Navigator FDK includes the board’s entire FPGA design as a block diagram along with all source code, Pentek’s AXI-4 IP Library and complete documentation. It is easily edited using the graphical tools in IP Integrator, which is part of Xilinx’s Vivado tool suite.

Developers can integrate their IP along with the factory-installed functions or use the Navigator kit to replace the IP with their own. The Navigator FDK Library is AXI-4 compliant, providing a well-defined interface for developing custom IP or integrating IP from other sources.

Pricing and Availability
The Model 8257 starts at $4,700 USD with delivery 8 weeks ARO. The Model 5950 starts at $28,495 USD and is sold separately. The Navigator BSP starts at $2,500 USD and the Navigator FDK starts at $3,500 USD, both including free lifetime support.

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