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Pentek, Inc.

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Pentek Announces Four-Channel 1.25 GHz D/A Module Ideal for Beamforming and Multichannel Waveform Generation

*Independent channel memory and digital upconverters boost flexibility *Multichannel synchronous operation simplifies beamformed transmit arrays *Virtex-6 FPGA pre-loaded with IP to provide turnkey waveform playback operation *Linked list DMAs eases complex waveform generation from 2 GB memory tables *Pentek’s GateFlow toolkit simplifies custom configuration of on-board FPGA

Upper Saddle River, NJ, December 16, 2011 --( Pentek, Inc., today released its highest-performing D/A converter module for RF and IF waveform playback, the Cobalt® Model 71670. The module delivers four independent analog outputs each through its own digital upconverter and 16-bit D/A with sampling rates to 1.25 GHz. An on-board Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA contains factory-installed IP that provides turnkey waveform playback functionality for output signal bandwidths up to 250 MHz. Users can also customize the module’s operation by implementing their own IP in the FPGA.

“With four channels capable of independent translation from baseband to IF frequency,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, “the Model 71670 makes a perfect complement to our Cobalt Models 71660 and 71661 four-channel A/D boards. For the first time, this important new addition to our Cobalt product line provides four channels of digital up conversion in a single module instead of four. This helps engineers save costs and greatly simplifies the design of synchronous beamforming radar and multichannel transceiver systems.”

Channel independence in the Model 71670 is achieved with two new DAC3484 D/A converters from Texas Instruments (TI), each providing two digital upconverters (DUC) and 16-bit D/A channels with up to 16x interpolation that can translate a quadrature (I+Q) signal to a user-selectable IF center frequency.

“We began working with Pentek on their new D/A boards shortly after the DAC3484 became available,” said Chuck Sanna, marketing manager for Texas Instruments’ High Speed Products business. “With the DAC3484, Pentek was able to dramatically increase board density and performance thanks to the device’s small package size and the industry’s lowest power consumption.”

Precision Timing Enables Large Synchronous Systems
The Model 71670’s internal clock generator supports a wide range of timing modes and operates from an on-board programmable VCXO or an external clock. A front-panel connector accepts a 5 or 10 MHz reference clock to phase lock the internal programmable VCXO. The module also accepts a direct D/A sample clock input that can be as high as 1.25 GHz.

To offer precision timing control in a multi-module design, Pentek has implemented its new µSync timing bus in the Model 71670. The bus uses CML (current model logic) signaling for highest precision and includes clock, sync/reset, and gate/trigger signals that keep the operations of multiple modules sample-synchronized. Two modules can use the bus in a master/slave relationship to achieve 8-channel synchronization. For higher channel counts, the Model 7192 Cobalt Synchronizer can drive numerous modules using a star configuration.

High-Performance I/O
The Model 71670 complies with the VITA 42.0 XMC interface specification, providing two gigabit serial connectors. The primary XMC connector supports x4 or x8 PCIe Gen 2 with multiple DMA controllers for efficient transfers to and from the module. The secondary connector supports two 4x or one 8x link with bit rates up to 3.125 GHz to support user-installed gigabit serial protocols such as Aurora, SRIO, or a secondary PCIe interface. An additional I/O option provides 20 LVDS differential pairs to the FPGA through the PMC P14 connector.

Pricing and Availability
For the latest pricing and availability information, please contact Mario Schiavone by phone at (201) 818-5900 ext.229, or by email at

About Pentek
Pentek develops, manufactures, and markets innovative DSP systems and recorders to original equipment manufacturers, distributors, and value-added resellers. Pentek offers powerful VME, VPX, VXS, PMC, XMC, cPCI, PCI, PCIe boards for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing featuring Texas Instruments C6000 DSPs, Freescale G4 PowerPCs and Xilinx FPGAs. Pentek's I/O includes A/Ds, D/As, FPGAs, digital up/downconverters and more. Pentek equips all products with high-performance I/O including gigabit serial interfaces and offers strong DSP software support.


Pentek, GateFlow and Cobalt are registered trademarks of Pentek, Inc. Brand or product names are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.

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, Dynamic C4 Pte. Ltd. In Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia at (65) 6405 4506. For a list of Pentek representatives and distributors, please visit

Media Contact:
Barbara Stewart
Patterson & Associates
Contact Information
Pentek, Inc.
Mario Schiavone
To schedule an interview with Rodger Hosking, please contact Patterson & Associates.

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