Pentek Announces Series of VPX Software Radio Boards that Delivers Extreme Performance

  • Maximum Data Rates up to 4 GB/sec with Gen 2 PCIe
  • Wide-Range of 3U VPX Compact, Rugged COTS Solutions
  • Fabric-Transparent Switch Enables High-Speed Data
  • Transfers Using Popular Gigabit Protocols
  • VPX PCIe Cable Adapter Connects VPX System to Host PC

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ–April 13, 2010–Pentek, Inc. has introduced 14 products in their new family of 3U VPX boards for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing. These new boards offer flexible backplane fabric connections supporting maximum data rates of up to 4 GB/sec with PCI Express (PCIe) Generation 2 (Gen 2) and 2.5 GB/sec with other protocols. The 3U VPX form factor is compact and extremely well suited for avionics, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), shipboard and airborne radar, and signal intelligence applications.

According to Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, "Pentek’s new VPX modules fully support the OpenVPX standard (VITA 65) for improved interoperability among vendors and long-term availability.” He went on to explain, “The latest embedded system designs have shifted strongly towards serial-fabric based architectures for faster board-to-board data transfers to handle higher signal bandwidths, and more powerful FPGAs and processors. Our new product line represents the industry’s highest performance and most comprehensive VPX offerings.”

Unique 3U VPX Board Family Features

Each of the new 3U x8 VPX modules features a PCIe Gen 2 interface. The PCIe interface includes a bridge that provides PCIe lane-width negotiation for x1, x4, x8 or x16 data transfers over the VPX backplane. “This lane-width negotiation is very convenient,” said Marc Ruocco, product manager. “It lets our products easily adapt to different PCIe lane widths offered by other modules in the system.”

All modules feature a fabric-transparent crossbar switch that delivers many benefits. First, it allows flexible assignment of the PCIe interface lanes to backplane connector pins so system integrators can easily match a diverse range of backplane topologies. Second, the switch supports other gigabit serial protocols for moving data, such as Xilinx Aurora and Serial Rapid I/O. The switch simply passes the gigabit serial traffic from one port to another, totally independent of any particular protocol. Multiple data streams can be sent through the switch simultaneously. Lastly, the switch allows all modules to act as a VPX switch, to manage serial fabric connections to and from other modules across the backplane.

New Data Acquisition, Software Radio and FPGA VPX Boards

All of the first 14 products announced offer a distinctive feature set with a wide range of capabilities: high-speed A/D converters from 105 to 500 MHz with 12- to 16-bit resolution; Xilinx Virtex FPGA products; D/A converters to 800 MHz with 16-bit resolution; wideband and narrowband digital downconverters and upconverters with channel counts from 2 to 256; and multi-frequency clock synthesizers from 20 to 500 MHz.

  • Model 5331: Dual 14-bit 105 MHz A/D, 16 Channel DDC and Virtex FPGA
  • Model 5341: Dual 14-bit 125 MHz A/D, 4 Channel DDC, Dual 16-bit 500 MHz D/As, DUC and Virtex II-Pro FPGA
  • Model 5341-420: Transceiver with Dual Wideband DDC and Interpolation Filter
  • Model 5341-430: Transceiver with 256-Ch Narrowband DDC
  • Model 5342: Quad 14-bit 125 MHz A/D, 16-bit 500 MHz D/A, DUC and Virtex 4 FPGAs
  • Model 5342-428: Transceiver with Quad Multiband DDCs and Interpolation Filter
  • Model 5350: Quad 16-bit 200 MHz A/D and Virtex 5 FPGAs
  • Model 5351: Quad 16-bit 200 MHz A/D, 256 Channel DDC and Virtex 5 FPGAs
  • Model 5352: Quad 16-bit 200 MHz A/D, 32 Channel DDC and Virtex 5 FPGAs
  • Model 5353: Quad 16-bit 200 MHz A/D, 2- 4 Channel DDC and Virtex 5 FPGAs
  • Model 5356: Dual 14-bit 400 MHz A/Ds, Dual 16-bit 800 MHz D/As, DUC and Virtex 5 FPGAs
  • Model 5358: Dual 12-bit 500 MHz A/Ds, Dual 16-bit 800 MHz D/As, DUC and Virtex 5 FPGAs
  • Model 5390: Multi-frequency 8-Output Clock Synthesizer

  • Model 5308: VPX x8 PCIe Cable Adapter

Pentek’s 5308 VPX x8 PCIe Cable Adapter features a front-panel PCIe x8 cable interface that extends the PCIe backplane across a cable to an adapter card in a host PC. VPX modules appear as PCIe devices on the host PC, allowing engineers to quickly start developing VPX applications on low-cost workstations. The 5308 can also be used for host connections in deployed systems and for data links between multiple VPX card cages.

Rugged VPX Solutions
These VPX products comply with the VPX REDI specification and can be supplied in both air-cooled and conduction-cooled versions.

Software Support

The ReadyFlow Board Support package includes project files and examples to demonstrate all board features. ReadyFlow supports Windows, Linux and VxWorks operating systems.


Pentek’s GateFlow FPGA Design Kit enables the onboard FPGA to be configured by the user for implementation of custom pre-processing functions such as FFTs, FIR filters and software-radio blocks. The kit includes VHDL source files and works in conjunction with the Xilinx ISE Foundation design tools.

For access to the release and data sheets, please visit:

North American Sales Contact: Mario Schiavone, Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458-2311; Telephone 201-818-5900, ext. 770; Fax 201-818-5904; Email; Website

International Sales Contacts: Elexo in France at (33) 0141 22 1023, Galleon Embedded Computing in Germany at (49) 89 5908 2101, LVD Systems in Italy at (39) 011 966 1319, RECAB AB in Sweden at (46) 8 6830300, Advanced Embedded Systems in the UK at (44) 0 1202 885 675, Sela Electronic Systems in Israel at (972) 3 6479969,MISH International in Japan at (81) 42-538-7650, Beijing Betaone Sysjob Ltd. in China at (86) 10 82784106 and Acetronix Co. Ltd. in Korea at (82) 24202343, ext. 106. Please visit for a full list of Pentek representatives and distributors.

Contact Information


One Park Way
Upper Saddle River, NJ, 07458

tele: 201-818-5900
fax: 201-818-5904

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • TwitThis
Extension Media websites place cookies on your device to give you the best user experience. By using our websites, you agree to placement of these cookies and to our Privacy Policy. Please click here to accept.