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Calypso-V6 (2 or 6 12-bit ADC)
  • Overview
  • Features & Benefits
  • Details
  • Performance Specifications


The QuiXilica Calypso-V6 VXS is a 6U VME and ANSI/VITA 41 (VXS) compliant high-speed digitizer board that combines high density FPGA processing with the latest 12-bit ADC technology.  In interleaved mode, the Calypso-V6 supports two channels at sample rates up to 3.6 GSPS.  In non-interleaved mode, the Calypso-V6 supports six channels at sample rates up to 1.8 GSPS with over 2 GHz input bandwidth, supporting 1st and 2nd Nyquist operation.

QuiXilica Calypso-V6 VME / VXS
2 x 3.6 GSPS x 12-bit ADC or
6 x 1.8 GSPS x 12-bit ADC

By employing three Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGAs, Tekmicro’s Calypso-V6 combines high resolution wideband signal acquisition with onboard high density FPGA processing. The result is a single slot solution that utilizes the latest ADC technology, supports advanced signal processing of up to 16 GB/s of digitized data, and forwards the results through a VME, VXS or front panel connection via SFP+ or CXP to the next processing stage.

Sample accurate synchronization of ADC sampling on a single board, and between multiple boards, is done using an external trigger signal.  This offers significant advantages in terms of channel matching performance for a range of advanced processing algorithms including multi-channel algorithms found in applications such as direction finding, Space Time Adaptive Processing (STAP) radar, EW, ELINT and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) image formation.

The Calypso-V6 features high bandwidth, low latency interconnect paths between its FPGAs. These have been carefully specified to ensure that data from all ADC inputs can be combined and processed together within the onboard FPGA resources, to support coherent multi-channel applications such as adaptive beamforming. 

The Calypso-V6 is available for a wide range of operating environments including commercial grade, rugged air cooled, and conduction cooled to support deployed applications such as unmanned airborne, naval and ground vehicles. For more details, see Tekmicro’s Ruggedization Data Sheet.

In addition to Calypso-V6, Tekmicro offers a broad range of Xilinx Virtex-6 based streaming I/O and FPGA processing solutions for both analog and digital I/O in a range of form factors.



Two 12-bit ADCs at 3.6 GSPS

Fastest 12-bit sampling in a COTS Product
Also supports 6 channels @ 1.8 GSPS

Best solution available for 1st and 2nd Nyquist sampling with 900 MHz staring bandwidth

Sample-accurate trigger input Supports coherent processing of a large number of channels across multiple cards
Single or dual / independent front panel clock inputs Flexible clock distribution
Twelve fiber optic interfaces running at up to 6.4 Gb/s using CXP front panel connection
Flexible data movement across the front panel for use in standard VME environments
One SFP port for Gigabit Ethernet connectivity
Network access and data movement to FPGAs via on-board Gigabit Ethernet switch
Dual 4x full duplex VXS links and 2 full duplex VITA 41.6 ethernet links Enhanced VXS capability
Three large pin count (1759 pin package) Xilinx Virtex®-6 devices available per board (LX240, SX315, or SX475). other configurations available Matched FPGA processing and analog data bandwidth for dense channel count systems
5 GB DDR3 SDRAM Memory Large memory resources for application flexibility
Two fully independent banks of (72 Mb/bank) QDRII+ memory on backend FPGA  
Advanced temperature and current monitoring Protection from damage and usable in customer applications
Comprehensive developer’s kit provided including FPGA interface cores, QuiXstart FPGA utilities, software and reference designs Faster application development
Convection or conduction cooled options Ruggedization designed in for demanding deployed applications


The Calypso-V6 contains four ADC12D1800RF dual 12-bit 1.8 GSPS ADCs from Texas Instruments, partitioned into two separate ADC groups.  Within an ADC group, one ADC device is used for analog input only, and one is used for analog and trigger inputs.  Each ADC device is configurable as either a single channel of 3.6 GSPS digitization or two channels of 1.8 GSPS digitization, resulting in an ADC group supporting either one analog input at 3.6 GSPS or three analog inputs at 1.8 GSPS.  The analog inputs are single-ended, AC coupled into 50 Ω.  

Virtex-6 FPGAs

Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGAs are the heart of the Calypso-V6. The FPGAs interface between the ADC’s, memory and I/O resources to provide a platform for implementing high performance real time processing. The Calypso-V6 is configured with three high pin count Xilinx Virtex-6 devices (LX240, SX315, or SX475) per board. Other device types can be used optionally or mixed for custom configurations. All FPGAs are interconnected by wide parallel LVDS busses and via high speed Aurora serial links using the Xilinx GTX transceivers.

Front Panel High Speed Serial I/O

One 12-fiber CXP site is provided on the front panel for standard protocols such as Gigabit Ethernet or Serial FPDP (ANSI/VITA 17.1 & 17.2). CXP modules and breakout cables are optionally available for flexible I/O capability.

Onboard Gigabit Ethernet Networking and Switching

An onboard Gigabit Ethernet Switch connected to each FPGA supports routing of control plane signaling and minimizes FPGA involvement for data distribution/forwarding between FPGAs. A dedicated SFP port which supports both fiber and copper 1000 baseT ethernet connections is available to connect to an outside network.

VXS Backplane High Speed Serial I/O

The Calypso-V6 can be used as a VITA 41.0 payload card. Up to eight high speed serial links of up to 3.125 Gb/s full duplex data rates are supported via VITA 41.0 MultiGig RT2 P0 connector. Custom or standard communication protocols can be run over these links by providing appropriate firmware in the FPGA.

High Speed Parallel LVDS Interconnectivity 

All FPGAs are also interconnected with a number of LVDS pairs for optimized data transfer as the block diagram shows.

QuiXstart FPGA Configuration

A number of options are available for configuring the FPGA on the Calypso-V6. A JTAG connection is available to allow users to configure the FPGA via standard Xilinx development tools. Onboard flash memory is available and can configure the FPGA on power up. Tekmicro’s QuiXstart tool supports flexible configuration of the FPGA through a Gigabit Ethernet link from a remote server after a power up or reset event.


Two Trigger inputs are provided on the front panel to allow the hardware to be employed in a variety of radar and electronic warfare scenarios. Each trigger input is differential, supporting LVDS and LVPECL (as a build option). Each trigger input serves an independent group of up to three ADC channels, or the channel groups may be configured to share a single common trigger input.  The trigger is sampled at the ADC clock rate, providing sample-accurate synchronization both within a single Calypso-V6 card and across multiple cards in a system.


Two sample clock inputs are provided on the front panel, one for each ADC channel group.  The input clock frequency is one-half the sample rate in the interleaved mode and equal to the sample rate in non-interleaved mode, resulting in a maximum input clock frequency of 1.8 GHz in all modes.  Each clock input has a minimum level of 0 dBm (nominal) into 50 Ω.  Each clock input can serve an independent group of up to 3 ADC channels, or the channel groups may be configured to share a single common clock input.


The Calypso-V6 has two independent banks of onboard DDR3 SDRAM for each FPGA.  The front end FPGAs have two 1 GB banks, each with throughput of 6.4 GB/s, while the back end FPGA has two 512 MB banks, each with throughput of 3.2 GB/s.  The total memory capacity is 5 GB with aggregate throughput of 32 GB/s across six banks.  All DDR3 memory banks are clocked at 400 MHz for an 800 MT/s transfer rate. In addition, there are two fully independent banks of QDRII+ SRAM memory for the back end FPGA. Each QDRII+ device has a 72 Mbit capacity (144 Mbit total) supported by an 18-bit data bus per bank.

GPIO Connections

For general purpose I/O signals, the Atlas-V6 can be accessed via the P2 connector and there is also an SSMC connector on the front panel which can be used for such things as a GPS signal, etc.

System Monitoring / Damage Protection

The Calypso-V6 includes facilities to monitor current and temperature at various points on the board. Current monitoring of all main power rails is available through the use of a Spartan-6 FPGA.  Die temperature monitoring of the three FPGAs and temperature monitoring of three locations on the PCB is also available. This allows a first level of protection when the Calypso-V6 is operating in different environmental scenarios. The output from the sensors is available to the user’s FPGA firmware applications, to allow the application to adapt to changes in environmental conditions. The Calypso-V6 also uses the system monitoring sensors to implement a system protection mechanism which will, independently of the user’s application, prevent excessive current or temperature from damaging the board.

A/D Converter

Quantity: 2 or 6 channels
Sampling Rate: up to 1.8 GSPS (6 channel mode)
3.6 GSPS (2 channel mode)
Resolution: 12-bits
Type:  ADC12D1800RF from Texas Instruments
Bandwidth: Up to 2.7 GHz

Front Panel Analog Signal Input 

Quantity: 6 ADC SSMC Connectors 
Type: 6 single ended, AC coupled into 50 ?, 3.2 dBm full scale

Front Panel Trigger Inputs

Quantity: 2 via 4 SSMC Connectors
Type: 100 Ω differentially terminated, support for LVDS and LVPECL (build option)
Mode: Independent or common for both ADCs groups


Quantity: 2 SSMC Connectors
Type: Single ended 50Ω terminated
Input Power Range: 0 dBm (min) to 13 dBm (max)
Operating Modes: Independent or common for both ADC groups

Network Interface

Front panel SFP for fiber or copper Gigabit Ethernet
VITA 41.6 P0 interface for 1000 BASE-KX Gigabit Ethernet
Onboard Gigabit Ethernet switch


DDR3 SDRAM (2 fully independent banks per FPGA)
Size: 1 GB per front end bank, 512 MB per back end bank
Bus Width: 64-bits per front end bank, 32-bits per back end bank
Speed: 400 MHz clock rate, 800 MT/s

QDR II+ SRAM (2 fully independent banks for back end FPGA)
Size: 72 Mbits per bank (144 Mbits total)
Bus Width: 18-bits per bank
Speed: Up to 500 MHz clock rate

Backplane I/O

VME Interface: 
V6A - master, slave, A32:D32, A32:BLT, A32:MBLT, A32:2eSST
V6D - slave only, A32:D32, A32:BLT16
VXS Interface: P0 connector supports 8X high speed serial links 
GPIO Interface: P2 connector 
Rear Transition Module (Optional): For rear access to the board, a Rear Transition Module is available which provides connections for GPIO connections, network access, PPS, and trigger signals

Front Panel I/O

Gigabit Ethernet via SFP+
CXP supporting 12 fiber optic at up to 6.4 Gb/s per link


Standard ANSI/VITA 1.1-1997 (R2003) VMEbus board, 6U x 4HP, single 0.8” slot
Optional VXS P0 connector for backplane I/O


+5V, +3.3V, ±12V from backplane. Power consumption is dependent on customer application. Power estimation model is provided as part of the Developers Kit.


Contact factory for additional performance details.