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Board simplifies multiple-channel synchronisation

A Pentek product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Aug 26, 2009

Pentek has introduced the Model 6891VME board, which is intended to make it easier for customers to configure multiple-channel systems.

This system-enhancing product is suitable for radar beamforming, direction finding and shipboard diversity reception, as well as cellular wireless applications where multiple antennas are used to steer and/or improve the reception of signals.

Rodger Hosking, vice-president of the company, said: 'Many of our customers need to synchronise multiple channels to satisfy their system requirements.

'For larger systems, this means delivering timing signals to multiple boards and even multiple chassis.

'Contrary to many competitive offerings that leave the user on his own to develop a way to synchronise and distribute timing signals within a system, this new board provides a ready-to-use, simplified and reliable solution to this critical system issue, saving the user both development time and resources,' he added.

The 6891 board accepts clock, sync, gate and trigger signals as inputs and delivers buffered versions of these signals to other modules in the system to ensure synchronous sampling and data collection across all connected modules.

The board provides up to eight timing signal cables that are fully compatible with the multi-pin front-panel timing signal connectors found on all recent Pentek PMC modules.

Using this strategy, up to eight modules can receive a common clock up to 500MHz, along with timing signals.

For larger systems, up to eight 6891 VME boards can be linked together, providing synchronisation for 64 input/output (I/O) modules, producing systems with up to 256 channels.

Robert Sgandurra, product manager for Pentek, said: 'Users can typically synchronise two, three or four boards by joining the timing signal connectors with a ribbon cable.

'In this case, one board acts as a driver and the other modules as receivers.

'But as systems grow larger with more channels and more than four modules, a product such as the 6891 becomes essential,' he added.

By using the 6891, loading is no longer an issue because each board is driven over a dedicated timing signal cable by one of its eight dedicated drivers.

Passing the clock, sync, gating and trigger signals through individual cables guarantees better performance thanks to improved delay matching, according to the company.

The 6891 occupies a single VME slot and often eliminates the need for a custom external timing signal generator chassis, providing a more compact and less expensive system solution.

It requires no additional software.

The modules connected to the board are already fully supported by Readyflow board support packages for Linux, VXworks and Windows operating systems.

Pentek's 6891 is immediately available with prices starting at USD3,995 (GBP2,425), which includes free lifetime support.

Delivery is eight weeks after receipt of order.

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