Pentek designs rugged, high-speed, real-time recording systems and embedded boards for DSP, SDR (software-defined radio), and data acquisition. The company introduced its Cobalt series of PCIe DSP boards based on Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGAs in 2009. When Xilinx 7 series FPGAs became available, Pentek added the Onyx board series to its product line. The Onyx boards are based on Virtex-7 FPGAs and they accept the analog and digital I/O boards originally designed for the Cobalt series.
Why tell you all of this? Because Pentek has developed multi-generational and multi-product-line perspectives with respect to FPGA-based product planning and development. Amazingly, the company just posted a 50-minute video, “Latest Design Strategies using Xilinx Virtex 7 FPGA for Software Radio,” on YouTube that walks you through the thought processes for developing such multi-generational product lines. Although the point of this video is using Pentek boards and Xilinx FPGAs for SDR, the first half of this video is filled with general design information and some great ideas that apply to most—if not all—products based on programmable logic.
Worth watching, even if SDR isn’t your thing.