“The broad adoption of user-programmable FPGAs for test and measurement applications has allowed test engineers to create custom instrumentation and interfaces for complex, mission-critical applications from the flight line to the factory,” Major General Stephen T. Sargeant, USAF (Ret.), CEO of Marvin Test Solutions, explains. “With the addition of the GX3800e which leverages commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) FMC modules and industry-standard IP cores and programming tools, our customers can realize a streamlined design process, long-term supportability, and the flexibility to adapt to future test needs.”
The GX3800e employs the Altera Cyclone V FPGA, which supports data rates up to 3.125 Gb/s and features over 300,000 logic elements and 12.2 Kb of user memory.
The GX3800e uses a daughter card for the I/O physical layer and these cards can be commercial off the shelf VITA 57 FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) modules, MTS’ line of daughter cards, or user-designed cards. This approach facilitates the integration of many applications and interfaces including A to D, D to A, Camera Link, FPDP, and high-speed serial using a single PXIe slot. The design of the FPGA is done using Altera’s Quartus or the license-free Quartus Prime Lite tool set, officials say.
The user FPGA’s interface to the PXIe bus is partitioned via an internal address and data bus, which is accessed via predefined registers and supported by the module’s software driver and an interactive user interface. The PXIe bus interface and associated software driver are known and tested, helping simplify design and integration processes, officials say. The compiled FPGA design can be loaded into on-board flash memory via this same interface, providing an easy way to incrementally design, test, or modify FPGA code.
PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation (PXI), an adaptation of PCI Express to the PXI form factor, is a modular electronic instrumentation platform used as a basis for developing electronic test equipment, automation systems, and modular laboratory instruments. PXI Express enables the use of hybrid slots compatible with PXI and PXI Express modules; National Instruments in 2015 extended the standard to use PCI Express 3.x, increasing the system bandwidth to 24 gigabytes.
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Courtney E. Howard is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group. Contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Continue reading »