NATIONAL Semiconductor Corporation and Xilinx Inc. have introduced an integrated development platform that accelerates the design of complex, gigahertz-speed communications and test and measurement systems.
Available from Arrow Electronics , the platform includes the world’s highest performance Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGA, which is optimised for reduced power and superior signal integrity and the ADC08D1500, National Semiconductor’s best-in-class, low-power, 3 Giga-sample per second (GSPS) analogue-to-digital converter (ADC).
The board is also available with any of the other converters from National’s gigahertz-speed ADC family.
The development platform sits in a plastic enclosure and requires only a power source and USB connection in order to collect and store data from any input signal and upload test results to a PC.
The platform is designed with functional blocks, including the ADC and FPGA, the LVDS interconnect between the ADC and FPGA, analogue input networks to the ADC using baluns and differential amplifiers, on-board system clocking using a PLL and VCO, complete power supply design and temperature monitoring circuitry. Each of these blocks can be reused by designers to significantly speed the development process.
The FPGA has several unused gates that can be programmed for proprietary firmware development. An expansion header for easy connection to FPGA I/Os and a logic analyser header connected to the FPGA for debugging is also included.
All of the device’s features allow designers to concurrently develop hardware and FPGA software without having to select and test individual components or utilise external test equipment.