Avnet’s complete evaluation kit for Otava’s recently announced wideband beamformer integrated circuit (BFIC) is now available. Otava’s single chip solution, the OTBF103, simplifies the phased array system architecture while providing flexibility for specific wireless networks. Avnet’s kit will enable design engineers and system architects for mmWave, small cell and 5G development to easily evaluate the Otava OTBF103.

The BFIC and the evaluation kit were developed in cooperation with Rohde & Schwarz (R&S). R&S provided advanced test equipment to ensure functionality and high performance of the solutions.

The Avnet evaluation kit includes Otava’s OTBF103-EVAL Beamformer eval board, a MicroZed-based digital controller leveraging Xilinx’s Zynq-7000 SoC, and a software GUI. The Windows GUI enables designers to easily control and modify the 158 registers and 64 quick-access positions on the OTBF103 BFIC through the MicroZed controller. This allows a developer to easily evaluate all features of the BFIC.

In addition, by using the MicroZed and GUI software, it eliminates the need to write code for a custom digital controller, since the device can be controlled from a PC through a standard USB or Ethernet connection. This allows developers to immediately focus on manipulating RF signals and quickly evaluate the function and performance of the eight-element Tx/Rx TDD Beamformer IC.

“Otava’s unwavering goal to demystify 5G mmWave electronics requires innovative circuits, software, and measurement techniques that provide high value to potential customers who have plans for rapid prototyping in a myriad of applications that our wideband OTBF103 beamforming IC enables,” said Victoria Pereira, CEO and president of Otava. “In partnering with Avnet and R&S, we have a complete team that tackles above grand challenges in service to our customers with affordability and ease of use in mind.”

“Otava’s beamformer IC will enable 5G applications to provide large throughput bandwidth where needed,” said Markus Loerner, market segment manager for RF and Microwave Components with R&S. “Our collaboration with Otava and Avnet has enabled innovation in 5G with our industry leading Spectrum and Signal Analyzer and Vector Signal Generator solutions for high bandwidth testing at millimeter frequencies.”

 “Avnet’s evaluation kit will enable new designs based on Otava’s Beamformer IC to happen even faster,” said Jim Beneke, vice president of Products and Emerging Technologies. “This is especially valuable for those design engineers working in the fast-moving areas of radar, EW and satellite communications where you need extremely efficient data delivery routes and reduced interference, enabling a better 5G system.” 

•    The evaluation kit includes: 
o    OTBF103 Eval Board from Otava
o    MicroZed development board with 4 GB uSD card and USB cable
o    Modified MicroZed I/O carrier card
o    Two custom cable assemblies from Samtec
o    Custom software GUI for a Windows PC that can be used to control the BFIC