Bring FPGAs to RF Applications with the RIO IF Transceiver Module

Publish Date: Dec 10, 2014 | 0 Ratings | 0.00 out of 5 | Print

1. New RIO IF Transceiver Module Brings FPGAs to RF Applications

Figure 1. The NI PXIe-5641R IF transceiver module combines high-performance ADCs and DACs with LabVIEW FPGA programming.

 

The is a dual-input, dual-output intermediate frequency (IF) transceiver targeted at applications such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) test, spectral monitoring, real-time spectrum analysis, RF dynamic test, and software-defined radio (SDR). It features two 14-bit, 100 MS/s analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) with built-in 20 MHz bandwidth digital downconverters (DDCs) and two 14-bit, 200 MS/s digital-to-analog converters (DACs) with built-in 20 MHz bandwidth digital upconverters (DUCs). This module also includes a Xilinx Virtex-5 SX95T field-programmable gate array (FPGA) that you can program using the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module. This is the highest-performance programmable FPGA that NI offers, with 640 multipliers, more than 14,000 slices, and nearly 100,000 logic cells. With these features, the device can handle complex and high-speed signal processing, analysis, and modulation tasks.

The NI PXIe-5641R is the first integrated IF transceiver on the PXI platform, and it works with user-programmable FPGA-based RF applications when paired with the NI PXI-5600 downconverter and NI PXI-5610 upconverter at frequencies up to 2.7 GHz and instantaneous bandwidths up to 20 MHz. Input and reconstruction filters on the NI PXIe-5641R provide more than 80 MHz of analog bandwidth, capable of interfacing with the 15 MHz IF output on the PXI-5600 and the 25 MHz IF input on the PXI-5610. With an NI PXIe-1065 chassis, you can connect two upconverters and two downconverters to a single NI PXIe-5641R for synchronized acquisition and generation. In addition, with high-performance storage solutions such as the NI 8260 1 TB in-chassis data storage module, you can continually record time domain IF data while performing measurements and analysis in real time on the FPGA of the transceiver module.

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2. Programming Your IF Transceiver Module

There are three ways to program the NI PXIe-5641R. First, to minimize the time to first measurement, use the included precompiled FPGA personality along with an easy-to-use API on the host. This configures the module as two synchronous input and two synchronous output channels and supports basic triggering. For more advanced FPGA-defined applications, use LabVIEW FPGA and the NI-RIO driver for high-speed communication between the graphical programming of both the host and FPGA. Next, the asynchronous timing wire, the latest addition to the LabVIEW FPGA Module, offers asynchronous communication between signal acquisition, processing, and generation blocks on the LabVIEW FPGA block diagram. Abstracting the first-in-first-out (FIFO)-based communication common in FPGA applications significantly simplifies programming, so designers can focus on their algorithms rather than data management. Finally, with the LabVIEW FPGA RF Communication Library in NI Labs (ni.com/labs), you can use examples for modulation, demodulation, fractional resampling, and channel coding in your communications application.

Figure 2. You can pair the NI PXIe-5641R with NI upconverters and downconverters to generate and analyze frequencies up to 2.7 GHz, and use asynchronous wires with the LabVIEW FPGA Module to greatly simplify programming.

 

Learn more about the new NI PXIe-5641R and programming with asynchronous wires.

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