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Pentek has launched 14 products in its family of 3U VPX boards for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing.

The boards are said to offer flexible backplane fabric connections supporting maximum data rates of up to 4GB/sec with PCI Express (PCIe) Generation 2 (Gen 2) and 2.5GB/sec with other protocols.

The 3U VPX form factor is compact and well suited for avionics, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), shipboard and airborne radar, and signal intelligence applications.

Pentek’s VPX modules fully support the Open VPX standard (VITA 65) for improved interoperability among vendors and long-term availability.

Each of the new 3U x8 VPX modules features a PCIe Gen 2 interface.

The PCIe interface includes a bridge that provides PCIe lane-width negotiation for x1, x4, x8 or x16 data transfers over the VPX backplane.

This lane-width negotiation lets Pentek’s products adapt to different PCIe lane widths offered by other modules in the system.

All modules feature a fabric-transparent crossbar switch that delivers many benefits, according to Pentek.

First, it allows flexible assignment of the PCIe interface lanes to backplane connector pins so system integrators can easily match in a diverse range of backplane topologies.

Second, the switch supports other gigabit serial protocols for moving data, such as Xilinx Aurora and Serial Rapid I/O.

The switch simply passes the gigabit serial traffic from one port to another, totally independent of any particular protocol.

Multiple data streams can be sent through the switch simultaneously.

Finally, the switch allows all modules to act as a VPX switch, to manage serial fabric connections to and from other modules across the backplane.

All of the first 14 products announced offer: high-speed A/D converters from 105-500MHz with 12- to 16-bit resolution; Xilinx Virtex FPGA products; D/A converters to 800MHz with 16-bit resolution, wideband and narrowband digital downconverters and upconverters with channel counts from two to 256; and multi-frequency clock synthesisers from 20-500MHz.

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