Sunday, February 25, 2024

Next-Generation RF Technology For 5G

By Nidhi Agarwal

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The technology enhances connectivity, signal integrity, and processing speed for applications in 5G, aerospace, and beyond, unlocking the future of advanced communications.

RF

The iWave has introduced iW-RainboW-G42P, an RFSoC ADC DAC PCIe Card powered by AMD’s third-generation Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC. This PCIe card uses AMD’s gen-3 RFSoC technology to cover the sub-6 GHz spectrum, which is essential for applications like 5G, LTE, wireless communications, phased array RADAR, and satellite communications.

This PCIe Card’s core is the iW-RainboW-G42M System on Module (SoM), a single-chip radio platform capable of up to 6GHz direct RF sampling. It includes a processing system with an FPGA, an Arm Cortex-A53 processor, and a real-time dual-core Arm Cortex-R5 processor, enabling RF signal acquisition, processing, and management. The SoM comes with 8GB of 64-bit DDR4 RAM for the processing system and another 8GB of 64-bit DDR4 RAM for programmable logic. M.2 NVMe slots on the PCIe carrier board provide additional storage options.

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The SoM features a high RF channel count with 16 Channel RF-DACs at 10GSPS and 16 Channel RF-ADCs at 2.5GSPS. Integrated RF PLL, SyncE, and PTP network synchronization support signal processing bandwidth across the RF signal chain.

Adding SMA connectors to an RFSoC PCIe carrier card improves the validation process for ADC and DAC channels. These connectors offer an interface for connecting external signal sources and measurement devices, allowing control over input and output signals. This enables evaluations of signal integrity, noise levels, and distortion. The RFSoC ADC DAC PCIe Card includes an interface compliant with PCIe Gen 1, 2, and 3 specifications, supporting PCIe connections up to x8 and incorporating DMA controllers for data transfers.

The FMC+ connector provides an interface for data exchange between the RFSoC device and external peripherals, allowing engineers to connect test equipment and signal sources. This supports testing and adjusting performance, signal integrity, and synchronization of GTY transceivers.

The SoM and its accompanying PCIe carrier card utilize RF and signal integrity design methods to ensure high-speed connectivity throughout the platform. This allows system architects and product designers to create advanced RF applications, including 5G wireless, digital RF front end, aerospace, defence, and other demanding RF applications.

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