RFEL adds wideband capability to its channeliser IP core

May 09, 2016 // By Julien Happich
RFEL has added wideband input capability to its advanced channeliser IP core, ChannelCore Flex, meeting the increasing need for wider bandwidth monitoring in demanding channelisation applications such as communications, intercept, electronic warfare, security, industrial applications, COMINT, SIGINT, sonar, radio astronomy, research and software-defined radio.

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.

The core uses a novel architecture to implement a large number of Digital Down Converter (DDC) channels very 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 FPGA. 

Real-time, on-the-fly control is available for each channel to change the input source selection, centre frequency, sample rate, gain and filter response including bandwidth. There is a user programmable option to maintain phase coherency when reprogramming channels and the core is still capable of being phase coherent across multiple cores. 

Each channel has excellent RF performance with SFDR of greater than 80 dBc, 80% Nyquist pass-band and a passband ripple of less than 0.1 dB.  A powerful fractional rate resampler is provided on each channel, allowing resampling to sub-Hz accuracy, making ChannelCore Flex a unique solution that delivers unrivalled performance using a low power budget and highly effective use of FPGA resources. The core also now supports VITA 49 timestamping.

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