Pentek unveils synchroniser and distribution board for Quartz RFSoC 

Enabling synchronisation of sampling and data acquisition for multi-channel phase-coherent systems, the Model 5903 is a 3U VPX high speed synchroniser and distribution board optimised for Pentek products using the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC.

The Model 5903 synchronises up to eight eigtht-channel Pentek Quartz family boards within a system, enabling synchronous sampling and timing for a range of multi-channel, high speed data acquisition, DSP, radar, beamforming, 5G, electronic warfare and software radio applications.

For designers developing complex systems, it may be complicated to precisely synchronise multi-channel configurations. “Our engineers have solved this challenge so that customers with high-channel count phase-coherent applications can immediately start development without having to work out synchronisation strategies,” said Bob Sgandurra, director of Product Management of Pentek.

An on-board programmable clock generator creates the sample clock and complementary timing signals. Up to eight Quartz boards, with eight channels each (up to 64 channels total), can be synchronised using the Model 5903, to support synchronous sampling, triggering and gating functions across all boards.

The Model 5903 provides four front panel MMCX connectors to accept input signals from external sources. There is one for reference clock, one for sync and two for gate/trigger signals. The internal programmable clock generator can create sample clock frequencies from 1GHz to above 5GHz. The sample clock can be locked to the internal 100MHz frequency reference or locked to an external reference input connector. Sync and gate or trigger signals can be generated on-board via software or received from external sources through the sync and gate/trigger input connectors.

All board modes and operations are controlled by an on-board processor. Commands are sent via USB either through a front panel port or through the rear transition module (RTM). The Pentek Navigator board support package (BSP) provided with Quartz boards includes configuration utilities for the Model 5903.

The Model 5903 delivers a multi-signal sync bus to each board to be synchronised containing sample clocks, reference clocks, and gate/trigger and sync signals. There are four sync buses on the Model 5903’s front panel and there are four to the VPX backplane and optionally to an RTM. Connections between boards are facilitated across the VPX backplane and through precision matched multi-signal sync cables supplied with the Model 5903.

The Model 5903 can be used with Pentek’s eight-channel A/D and D/A boards based on the Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC processor, i.e. the Model 5550 and Model 5950 3U VPX boards and the Model 7050 PCIe board.

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