Tek's fastest 10-bit DAC on Curtiss-Wright DSP board

April 04, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Curtiss-Wright is to integrate the latest Tektronix components, 25 Gsample/sec DACs in OpenVPX COTS Systems: high performance, open architecture VPX DSP boards and HPEC systems.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS), has announced that it will bring the data conversion performance of Tektronix Component Solutions’ newly introduced TDAC-25, the industry’s first 10-bit 25 Gsample/sec digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) ASIC to the defence, aerospace, telecom, commercial, and medical markets on its new CHAMP-WB family of rugged OpenVPX modules. The TDAC-25, which delivers up to -60 dBc of dynamic range and enables direct-generation of wideband signals, is claimed to be the fastest commercially available DAC technology and significantly increases the wideband RF data conversion performance for signal generation in commercial communications development, electronic warfare, secure communications, SIGINT, coherent optical systems, radar simulation, and commercial aerospace and medical applications.

Curtiss-Wright will first deliver the TDAC-25 on the recently announced CHAMP-WB-DRFM card set featuring the Tektronix 12.5 GS ADC/DAC-based TADF-4300 module. The TADF-4300 was jointly developed by Curtiss-Wright and Tektronix for use with the CHAMP-WB Xilinx Virtex-7 based 6U VPX card. The first announced member of the CHAMP-WB family, the CHAMP-WB-DRFM card set deploys the TDAC-25 as part of an ADC/DAC combination with maximum module speed rated at 12.5 Gsamples/sec.

With Tektronix’s recent introduction of the TDAC-25, Curtiss-Wright is now able to announce a DAC-only configuration of the CHAMP-WB featuring full 25 Gsamples/sec capability. While the actual maximum DAC bandwidth is limited by the speed grade of the Virtex-7 FPGA selected, the maximum speed can be achieved in a Level 0 (0-50 ºC) commercial grade environment. For a full rugged environment, bandwidth in excess of 20 Gsamples/sec can be achieved.

Curtiss-Wright plans to provide the TDAC-25-based DAC-only configuration on the forthcoming CHAMP-WB-AWG (Arbitrary Waveform Generator) card set, which promises to establish a new standard of performance and precision for direct generation of wideband RF signals, reducing the need for additional frequency conversion blocks. Future variants of the CHAMP-WB-DRFM card set will provide the capability to leverage both the higher speeds of the TDAC-25 along with the 12.5 Gsamples/sec ADC.