Microwave Journal

Pentek Announces SOSA Aligned Development Platform that Speeds Integration Tasks

March 23, 2021

Pentek, Inc., announced a development platform, the Model 8256, that is aligned to the SOSA™ Technical Standard. The Model 8256 is a 3U VPX platform with IPMI and connectivity for RF and optical interfaces. The Model 8256 is ideal for application development with Pentek's Quartz® RFSoC data acquisition and processing boards. Pentek's SOSA aligned products facilitate interoperability, re-use and rapid technology insertion, all consistent with the SOSA Consortium’s approach and vision.

Several Pentek partners and key contributors to the emerging SOSA Technical Standard are involved in the development of this platform. Pentek teamed up with Elma Electronic for backplane and system management components, Interface Concept for backplane switch modules, Concurrent Technologies for single board computer modules and Crossfield Technology for IPMI and chassis management support; all specifically designed to be in alignment with the SOSA Technical Standard.

“The efforts put into this platform demonstrate our commitment and the value of the alignment and interoperability goals driving the SOSA Consortium mission,” said Bob Sgandurra, Pentek’s director of product management. “Pentek has worked tirelessly with key suppliers in the open architecture community to put this platform together. With the Model 8256, customers can now immediately start integrating and building their application.”

Model 8256 Advanced Features

The Open Group SOSA Consortium created a common framework, the emerging SOSA Technical Standard, for sensor systems based on key interfaces and open standards established by industry-government consensus. The forthcoming SOSA Technical Standard implements numerous VITA standards that are reflected in the Pentek Model 8256 configuration. The Model 8256 takes advantage of several advanced features including cooling, platform system management and RF/optical interface options.

    The Model 8256’s built-in forced-air cooling is designed to support conduction-cooled boards in a standard 19” rackmount profile chassis. This provides the convenience of development on conduction-cooled boards in a desktop or laboratory environment. 

    Pentek’s SOSA aligned development chassis utilizes VITA 46.11 and HOST aligned Chassis Management Module (CMM). This CMM is software upgradable to the forthcoming SOSA v1.0 standards. SOSA aligned systems will feature, and the CMM will enable, meaningful integration between the functional elements (SOSA Modules) and the System Manager, the CMM and every Plug-In Card.  

    The Model 8256 is designed for convenient access to RF and optical interfaces. Each RF payload slot can be optioned with 20 coaxial breakout connectors located on the back panel of the chassis providing direct connections to the VITA 67.3C backplane connector. In addition, each RF payload slot can be optioned with two rear panel MPO adapters to provide access to the VITA 67.3C dual optical interfaces.

Partner Interoperability

Speeding development is the prime objective of the Model 8256. Customers can be up and running in short order because Pentek has taken many of the initial startup and configuration issues out of the equation. To reduce the development effort and risk, Pentek offers integration assistance to select and configure modules to meet overall system objectives. 

    Elma Electronic Backplane: 

“Users of high-performance data acquisition and signal processing boards and chassis often find themselves frustrated by the fact that when their new devices are delivered, they are unable to put them to immediate use,” said Ken Grob, director of embedded computing, Elma Electronic, Inc. “This SOSA aligned development platform is delivered ready-to-use and tested, saving engineers much needed development time. We are very pleased to be part of Pentek’s 8256 development platform.” 

    Concurrent Technologies SBC:

“The Model 8256 is an ideal development platform for Pentek’s Models 5550 and 5553 eight-channel A/D & D/A Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC 3U VPX processors in conjunction with our compute intensive TR H4x Single Board Computer,” said Brent Salgat, president, Concurrent Technologies, Inc. He added, “These modules and this platform are well suited for many radar, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, electro-optical and communications applications.” 

    Crossfield Technology IMPI Software and CMM:

“The MOSA aligned goals of the emerging SOSA Technical Standard go beyond common OpenVPX hardware slot profiles. To be truly interoperable with each other, the system software must have common access and interfaces into system management functions,” said Terry Hulett, products general manager, Crossfield Technology LLC.  “Pentek’s Model 8256 development platform not only provides access to leading edge hardware, but does so with open-standards-based chassis management capabilities for just such common access.” 

Product Availability

The Model 8256 is immediately available. Several options for Quartz RFSoC data acquisition and processing boards, RF and optical interconnections are possible. Pentek integration assistance is available to select and configure modules that are most appropriate for prototyping specific applications.