Mercury Computer Systems Ships Industry's First COTS Wideband Remote Fiber Transceiver

Mercury's Mixed-Signal Module Brings Receive/Transmit Signal Conversion Close to the Antennas
Mercury Computer Systems Ships Industry's First COTS Wideband Remote Fiber Transceiver (PresseBox) (CHELMSFORD, Mass., ) Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) announced its new Echotek(TM) Series ECV4-RFT Wideband Remote Fiber Transceiver, a mixed-signal module with unique capability to coordinate data streams to and from sets of spatially distributed sensors. Based on COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) technology, this new product combines high-speed A/D and D/A (analog-to-digital, digital-to-analog) technology, Xilinx(R) Virtex(TM)-4 FPGA (field-programmable gate array) reconfigurable processors, and fiber I/O, for wideband applications that require a unique blend of powerful remote processing and low-latency data transfer.

"The ECV4-RFT is designed to be located near antennas, communicating with a signal processing subsystem via fiber-optic connections up to 100 feet long," explained Craig Lund, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Mercury Computer Systems. "It can provide standalone functionality for wideband remote sensor applications, enabling multi-board coherent processing of data streams from widely separated antennas or sensors to support, for example, beamforming. Telecommunications antenna designers now have new choices for both fixed-base and portable phased-array antennas. The ECV4-RFT also allows remote, fiber optically coupled sampling of high-speed instrumentation signals."

The ECV4-RFT accepts two analog inputs and produces two analog outputs. After conversion to a digital signal, the input data stream moves to a Virtex-4 SX55 FPGA, which can function as a digital receiver or perform pre-processing on the input signal. The data leaves the receiver FPGA and moves through the controller FPGA to a 12-channel optical transmitter. The output of this transmitter is a digital IF signal, moving over a fiber-optic connection to a signal processing subsystem up to 100 feet distant. The ECV4-RFT supports multi-board synchronization.

Output from the signal processing subsystem returns in a similar fashion, over fiber to an optical receiver, then to the control FPGA, a transmitter FPGA, and finally through the D/A converters and into an antenna as an analog signal. An A/D-only version of the product is available for applications that do not need analog output.

The reconfigurable processing power of the three Xilinx FPGAs enable users to deploy custom algorithms such as down/up conversion or Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs), and to achieve high-performance filtering directly on the board. Users can apply Mercury FPGA infrastructure IP to get a jump start on developing and deploying their specific applications.

The 6U ECV4-RFT board does not need a backplane interface, although it does draw power from the VME connector. The A/D interfaces operate at up to 1.5 Gsps (Giga-sample per second) at 8 bits resolution while the D/A interfaces deliver up to 1.2 Gsps at 14 bits resolution.

The ECV4-RFT began shipping to customers in July 2006 and is available with standard lead times. For more information on the ECV4-RFT visit d=107&type=boards . For information on Mercury's broad set of solutions for wideband data links and satellite communications, visit, or call (866) 627-6951.


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