Pentek, Inc. announced extensions to their proven Quartz® RFSoC product family by introducing the QuartzXM eXpress Module, the Model 6003, adding greater RF performance and scalability. The QuartzXM Model 6003, based on the Xilinx Zynq® UltraScale+™ RFSoC Gen 3, provides full sub-6 GHz direct-RF I/O support and greater flexibility with more decimation and interpolation options. The QuartzXM Model 6003 is ideal for 5G and LTE wireless, SIGINT, EW, communications and radar applications in SWaP-critical environments.

"Immediately releasing products utilizing Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Gen 3 demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers the latest technology for their applications,” said Bob Sgandurra, Pentek’s director of Product Management. “The modularity of our Quartz product line enables us to quickly provide solutions in any form factor needed, whether it’s in the lab or in a deployed application.”

These new Quartz products support direct-RF sampling using 5 GS/sec 14-bit ADCs and eight 10 GS/sec 14-bit DACs, both supporting analog signals up to 6 GHz. Each data converter has built-in digital downconverters or upconverters with programmable decimation and interpolation up to 40x and independent tuning for increased RF flexibility and frequency planning.

The Quartz Architecture Difference
The Pentek Quartz architecture positions the RFSoC as the cornerstone of the design. All control and data paths are accessible by the RFSoC’s programmable logic and processing system. The Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Gen 3 integrates eight RF-class ADCs and DACs into the Zynq FPGA fabric along with quad ARM Cortex-A53 and dual ARM Cortex-R5 processors, creating a multichannel data conversion and processing solution on a single chip. 

Complementing the RFSoC’s on-chip resources, the QuartzXM Model 6003 adds:

  • Wideband analog RF connectors to preserve signal integrity
  • LVDS connections to the Zynq UltraScale+ FPGA for custom I/O
  • GTY connections for 28 Gbaud gigabit serial communication
  • 16 GBytes of DDR4 SDRAM
  • All power supplies and clocking management needed by the RFSoC

Factory-Installed IP Advances Development
The QuartzXM Model 6003 is pre-loaded with a suite of Pentek IP modules to provide data capture and processing solutions for many common applications. Modules include DMA engines, DDR4 memory controller, test signal and metadata generators, data packing and flow control. The board comes pre-installed with IP for triggered waveform and radar chirp generation, triggered radar range gate engine, wideband real-time transient capture, flexible multi-mode data acquisition and extended decimation. 

The Quartz Family Versatility
These enhancements will be available across the entire Quartz family of Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC eight-channel A/D & D/A converter products. The first products to be available are:

  • Model 6003 QuartzXM Module
  • Model 5953 3U OpenVPX Board
  • Model 6353 Small Form Factor Rugged Enclosure
  • Model 7053 PCIe Board
  • Model 5553 SOSA-Aligned 3U OpenVPX Board

These Quartz products can be deployed as out-of-the-box solutions with built-in functions requiring no FPGA development, and are available for air-cooled, conduction-cooled and rugged operating environments.

Carrier Design Kit
The Design Kit supports customers interested in building their own carrier for the QuartzXM Model 6003. The kit encapsulates all of Pentek’s electrical and mechanical design knowledge to accelerate application-specific carrier design. The kit includes a review of the customer’s design with Pentek’s engineering staff; pin definitions and electrical specifications of all signals on the module; 3D models of the module; thermal profiles of the module and components; carrier reference design schematics; PCB stack-up recommendations; PCB design guidelines and routing rules; operating system and bootstrap guidelines.

Navigator Design Suite for Streamlined IP Development
Pentek's Navigator Design Suite includes: Navigator FDK (FPGA Design Kit) for custom IP 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 that can be graphically edited in Xilinx's Vivado tool suite, with full source code and documentation.

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 fully AXI-4 compliant, providing a well-defined interface for developing custom IP or integrating IP from other sources.

The Navigator BSP supports Xilinx’s PetaLinux on the ARM processors. Users can work efficiently using high-level API functions, or gain full access to the underlying libraries including source code. Pentek provides numerous examples to assist in the development of new applications.

Whether the QuartzXM is deployed on a Pentek carrier or a custom carrier, developers will find the included IP cores and examples an ideal foundation for building custom applications.

Product Availability
The QuartzXM Model 6003 and Quartz Model 5953 are immediately available. Quartz Models 6350 and 7053 are available in Q1 2021. The Quartz Model 5553 is available in Q2 2021.