World Security Report2016-06-07 09:08:02

RFEL's ChannelCore Flex Evolution

RFEL will be showcasing at Eurosatory recent additions and improvements to its multi-award winning Signal Processing capability, including an advanced channeliser IP core, ChannelCore Flexâ„¢.

A new wideband variant of the proven ChannelCore Flex IP core, meets the increasing need for ever wider bandwidth monitoring for a diverse range of demanding channelisation applications such as communications intercept, Electronic Warfare (EW), security, industrial applications, COMINT, SIGINT, sonar, radio astronomy, research and software-defined radio.

Richard Streeter, RFEL's Sales and Marketing Manager, commented, "This is an exciting year for RFEL with a raft of new product releases, and even more in the pipeline. The new functionality added to ChannelCore Flex makes it a really powerful tool to address complex COMINT and SIGINT applications. Working with RFEL IP allows system designers to remove risk, reduce development time and improve the overall capability of their DSP systems."

ChannelCore Flex uses a novel architecture to implement a large number of Digital Down Converter (DDC) channels incredibly efficiently. FPGA resources are used in proportion to the log of the number of channels enabling thousands of channels to be implemented in a moderately sized and optimised FPGA. In addition, real-time, on-the-fly control is available for each channel to alter the input source selection, centre frequency, sample rate, gain and filter response including bandwidth. ChannelCore Flex features a user programmable option to maintain phase coherency when reprogramming channels and the core is still capable of being phase coherent across multiple cores. A new addition, being shown for the first time at Eurosatory, is an FFT side port, giving a real-time, full spectrum view of the input signal. This makes it incredibly easy to add a detection core and then provide a closed loop system performing signal search and acquisition, lock and down-conversion and then signal extraction.

The new and improved Wideband ChannelCore Flex enables multi-GHz bandwidths to be monitored so that either hardware costs can be reduced, or more bandwidth monitoring can be performed for a similar system cost. Previously, the core was limited to input bandwidths around 300MHz but this new wideband input option introduces a parallel architecture supporting multi-GHz bandwidths. The input parallelism is scalable so that the practical input bandwidth limit is governed only by the available FPGA resources. RFEL has already successfully delivered a 2GHz version to a major European customer, implemented on a Xilinx Zynq 7045 device.

As well as Wideband ChannelCore Flex, RFEL will also be presenting a new Fractional Rate Resampler IP core which enables input data rates to be modified to manage systems with multiple clock domains; unifying all signal paths onto a single clock domain. Arbitrary input data rates can be easily matched to support the data rates required for following algorithms such as DEMODS or CODECs. Equally, the core can be used in post-filtering applications so that data rates can be optimally set to match the data rate to the output bandwidth.

All of RFEL's cores are being ported to support the Xilinx Vivado Design Tool and as such can target the latest Xilinx Ultrascale devices, offering unparalleled resource availability in an FGPA. Using these devices with RFEL IP, allows designers to achieve extremely complex DSP solutions with very short integration times.

RFEL can provide free of charge, fully operational and fully featured wideband ChannelCore Flex evaluation cores to support system design and evaluation in either MATLAB® or ModelSim®. These evaluation models operate for a limited time before reboot, allowing time for an extensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the design. The time limitation is removed to provide unlimited use, when a full core license is purchased.

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