Pentek's New Carrier Board Enables High-Performance Applications in the Emerging PCI Express Environment

•Develop Applications on Low-Cost PCs and Blade Servers •Optimize High-Speed Inter-Board and System Communication •Move Data at Speeds of 2 Gigabytes per Second •Provide Onboard Cooling for Improved System Airflow •Support High-Power Modules (50 Watts)

Pentek's Model 7841
Pentek's Model 7841

Pentek, Inc., today released the 7800 series of high-performance I/O boards built upon a versatile half-length x8 PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 carrier board. The carrier board hosts a PMC/XMC module to fulfill a wide range of software radio, data acquisition and beamforming applications. Now designers can utilize PCI Express, FPGAs and high-speed interfaces in low-cost PCs as well as in blade servers.

“While there are many PCIe carrier boards in the market, we quickly discovered there were none built with high-performance applications in mind,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president, Pentek. “Data flow requirements, cooling considerations and power consumption needed to be addressed to fulfill the performance demands of our customers. The new 7800 carrier boards are complete system solutions that satisfy all of these requirements,” he concluded.

Design Features

• In addition to the x8 PCIe interface, the 7800 carrier board features a number of high-speed gigabit serial connectors for inter-board communication. Using protocols such as Xilinx Aurora and Serial Rapid I/O, these interconnections support communication between multiple 7800 Series boards completely independent of the backplane. This provides a critical advantage for high-connectivity systems such as radar and beamforming applications, where significant data must be transferred across multiple boards.

• A built-in fan provides forced-air cooling that can be invaluable in dissipating heat developed by high-speed A/Ds, D/As and FPGAs, without requiring an extra slot.

• A 4-pin standard disk drive power connector accepts power directly from the PC power supply to augment PCIe slot power. This supports modules with power consumption as high as 50 watts or greater.

"Pentek's new 7800 Series PCI Express boards bring Xilinx high-performance FPGAs to the PC environment–significantly broadening the market," said Tom Feist, senior marketing director, ISE Design Suite, Xilinx. "In addition, Pentek provides flexible, custom FPGA development options with their GateFlow Design Kit enabling users to get their application design completed more quickly," he added.

PCI Express 2.0 Carrier Board

The new 7800 carrier board includes an x8 PCIe 2.0 interface capable of plugging into an x8 or x16 slot in a PC or a blade server. As a half-length board approximately 6.5 inches long, it fits virtually in any PC.

Pentek’s Complement of 7800 X8 PCI Express Products

The first two digits of the model number, 78, designate the 7800 carrier board, and the second two digits identify the PMC or XMC module attached to it. At this time Pentek is introducing the following modules:

• 7841 – Dual Multiband Transceiver with FPGA

• 7842 – Multichannel Transceiver with Virtex-4 FPGAs

• 7850 – Quad 200 MHz, 16-bit A/D with Virtex-5 FPGAs

• 7851 – 256-Channel DDC with Four 200 MHz, 16-bit A/Ds

• 7852 – 32-Channel DDC with Four 200 MHz, 16-bit A/Ds

• 7856 – Dual 400 MHz A/Ds, 800 MHz D/As with Virtex-5 FPGAs

• 7890 – Multifrequency Clock Synthesizer

These modules are all fully-assembled and factory-tested PCIe assemblies so customers can simply plug them into their systems. In the months ahead, Pentek plans to expand the 7800 Series as new PMC/XMC modules are developed.

Software Support

The family of 7800 products are sold as complete PCIe subsystems with all necessary software and documentation. This includes the GateFlow FPGA design kits and ReadyFlow board support libraries. The 7800 product line supports Linux and Windows operating system environments.

Pricing and Availability

For the latest pricing and availability information, please contact Mario Schiavone by phone at (201) 818-5900 ext.229, or by email at

About Pentek

Pentek, Inc. manufactures and markets innovative embedded systems and boards to design engineers and is a certified ISO 9001:2000 quality management company. Pentek offers powerful VME, VXS, PMC, XMC, cPCI, PCI, PCIe boards and systems for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing featuring Texas Instruments DSPs, Freescale PowerPCs and Xilinx FPGAs. Pentek's I/O includes A/Ds, D/As, FPGAs, digital transceivers, installed IP cores and more. The company offers strong DSP software support and equips all products with high-performance I/O including gigabit serial interfaces.


Pentek, ReadyFlow and GateFlow are registered trademarks of Pentek, Inc. Other brand or product names are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.

For the release, photographs and datasheets, please visit:[...]

North American Sales Contact: Mario Schiavone, Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River,

NJ 07458-2311; Telephone 201-818-5900, ext. 770; Fax 201-818-5904; Email; website

International Sales Contacts: Elexo in France 0141 22 1023, Sela Electronic Systems in Israel at 36479969, MISH International in Japan at 425387650, Beijing BetaOne Sysjob Ltd. in China at 1082784106 and Acetronix Co. Ltd. in Korea at 24202343, ext. 106, Aries Ingenieria Y Sistemas, Spain at 91 570 2737. Please visit for the full list of international Pentek representatives and distributors.