RF Engines Ltd (RFEL) Extends Digital RF Capabilities to Include Demodulator Cores for FPGAs

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RFEL awarded contracts to design multi-channel demodulator solutions.

RF Engines Limited (RFEL) has extended its world-class expertise in digital RF channelisers to encompass the next processing stage of the communication system pipeline – demodulator cores. “There is a growing demand, particularly in the surveillance market, to be able to monitor large numbers of channels simultaneously,” explained John Summers, RFEL’s CEO. “We are now extending our world-leading capability in very high speed channelisers for FPGAs, to create a new generation of demodulator cores that efficiently complement the channelisers.”

RFEL’s customers who are already using RFEL’s multi-channel channeliser solutions have commissioned RFEL to design demodulator cores that will facilitate the simultaneous monitoring of a large number of modulated channels. Examples include one application targeting over 50 channels in the limited resources of a single Xilinx Virtex-II FPGA, another example addressing in excess of 120 channels in a Virtex 6 device. Building blocks include many typical demodulation functions such as symbol timing recovery, fine frequency/phase estimation and correction and SNR estimation. RFEL engineers now combine these functions to support multiple demodulation schemes simultaneously – providing parallel soft-symbol data stream outputs. The company continues to innovate, producing high performance cores that can be optimally mapped onto both low-end, low-cost FPGAs as well as the most advanced specification FPGAs. Many of the demodulator functions have been realised by exploiting techniques pioneered on the established portfolio of award winning signal processing cores, such as those using high performance FFTs.

The company will release several demodulator functions as standalone IP for customers to use in their own designs in the same way that RFEL has offered extensive libraries of functionality to the DSP market over the last 10 years. RFEL’s compact demodulator and channeliser solutions cost less, take up a fraction of the rack space of current products on the market (significantly reducing board count in some applications) and use less power. Many customers have realised the significant benefits of sourcing a demodulator solution from the same company that developed the channeliser for their project - as a common validation framework and reduction in integration times, decreases their overall project risks considerably.

RFEL’s new range of Demodulator cores will be available for licensing later in 2010.

RF Engines Ltd
RF Engines Limited (RFEL) is a UK-based electronic systems designer, providing high specification signal processing solutions for FPGAs, as well as supplying digital receiver and complete product solutions for the homeland security, defence, communications and instrumentation markets. Applications include communications base stations, satellite communications systems, test and measurement instrumentation, and bespoke wideband receivers/transceivers.

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Dave Nicklin
RF Engines
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