RF Engines Ltd. (RFEL), a UK-based signal processing on FPGA specialist, have completed the delivery of its latest designs for LIG Nex1’s latest spectrum analyzer instrument.

RFEL have been working with LIG Nex1 of Korea (www.lignex1.com/tm/index_eng.html) for a number of years, and have most recently supplied an advanced SpectraChip™ IF design that effectively is a digital replacement for the analogue intermediate frequency (IF) filtering section of LIG Nex1’s latest instrument.

Replacing traditional analogue components with modern digital techniques helps to make the systems easier to manufacture, more reproducible and more reliable. The use of digital technology also saves on the manufacturing alignment costs normally associated with analogue circuitry, and the guaranteed repeatability of the digital design reduces both the need for, and the costs, of ongoing calibration.

This latest design incorporates additional decimation functions, a new digital modulation analysis core, incorporates a memory selection function of either SDRAM or FIFO for data capture, additional time domain triggering capability, and an increase in the bandwidth of the initial down conversion function from 20 to 30 MHz. The board design has been developed in house by LIG Nex1, and is based on the Xilinx VII-1000 FPGA.

Commenting on the project, John Summers, RFEL’s CEO, said, “LIG Nex1 have again shown that they are at the forefront of spectrum analysis instrumentation, and have demonstrated their commitment to building another world-class product in a short timescale. We are very pleased to have been able to again help them with another design and to have such a good working relationship.”