Per Vices has developed a new software-defined radio (SDR), named Chestnut, to serve mid-range applications seeking a high performance SDR with a smaller form factor, more accessible price range and easy integration in wireless communications and other systems applications. Chestnut is positioned between Per Vices’ Crimson TNG and Cyan SDRs.
With a tuning range from near DC to 9 GHz, this latest SDR is well suited for applications needing wide operating frequencies. The architecture has four receive (Rx) and four transmit (Tx) radio chains, each chain independently controlled yet maintaining phase coherency for applications needing that capability. Each radio has 500 MHz of RF bandwidth, providing 2 GHz total with all chains operating. The architecture supports separately tuned LOs or a common LO for improved coherency and stability, as applications such as radar and beamforming benefit from improved coherency with all channels tuned to the same frequency.
Chestnut is powered by an Intel FPGA SoC, with separate interfaces for management and data. The management interface includes dual 1G ports for full redundancy, with two qSFP+ ports providing 100 Gbps data transfer per port, so the SDR has 200 Gbps total data transfer capacity. The internal oven-controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO) assures highly stable LO and clock performance, and the onboard OCXO can synchronize multiple devices. The SDR also has the flexibility to use an external 10 MHz source, and its flexible features include a compact 19-in. 2U form factor, native web interface and UHD compatibility—out of the box.
Chestnut’s modular design comprises of five boards, each connected to a rugged backplane (see Figure 1). The power board provides power to the digital, time, Rx and Tx boards. The digital board has an interface to control, configure, send and receive data between the Rx, Tx and time boards. Clock distribution extends from the time board, providing a clean and stable clock distribution network. The default Rx and Tx boards each have four independent channels. The Rx board consists of a radio front-end terminating with a Texas Instruments (TI) ADS54J69 dual-channel, 16-bit, 500 MSPS analog-to-digital converter on each channel. The Tx board’s radio front-end originates with TI’s quad channel DAC38J84 digital-to-analog converter. For peripherals, Chestnut offers two USB slots, an SD card slot, two Ethernet ports (MGMT 10/100/1000 Ethernet port), as well as the two qSFP+ ports.
Chestnut addresses a range of applications covering wireless communications, spectrum monitoring, signals intelligence and phased arrays. Its low cost of entry enables users to prototype and test different communications protocols and devices across a wide spectrum or use the SDR for spectrum monitoring, recording and playback or phased array systems. Its unique and modular design enables it to be integrated in enterprise applications, offering interoperability, flexibility and ease of integration into other systems.
For mid-range applications, the market has been seeking a product offering a high performance SDR with a smaller form factor and more accessible price range. After speaking with clients and analyzing the market, Per Vices developed Chestnut to address these specifications and operations at a price of $30,000. This new SDR supports customer needs for easy integration by offering a modular and reconfigurable solution with IP available for many applications.