Military Embedded Systems

Direct RF extension to SCi Blocks family announced by Spectrum Control


May 20, 2024

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

Direct RF extension to SCi Blocks family announced by Spectrum Control

FAIRVIEW, Penn. Spectrum Control Inc. officials announced a new Direct RF extension to the company's SCi Blocks family of miniature, modular, and intelligent RF+Digital system building blocks. This 3U VPX SOSA aligned module enables users to rapidly deploy configurable mission-ready RF front ends and high-speed digital signal conversion.

The new SCi Blocks RF+Digital module is intended for use in existing and emerging defense platforms and expands the technology to small platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and expendables. The new module offers user-enabled switching from a radar mission to a signals intelligence (SIGINT) gathering mission to electronic warfare (EW) in an all-in-one SOSA aligned 3U VPX module. 

This extension to the company’s SOSA aligned wideband module platform leverages Altera Agilex 9 FPGAs to add direct digitization of eight RF inputs and eight RF outputs at sample rates up to 64 Gsps with ultra-low converter interface latency. The Altera FPGA provides a step function improvement in digital modularity and interoperability in RF systems with the inclusion of analog-to-digital conversion and processing.

“The promise of integrating Altera’s Agilex 9 SoC FPGA Direct RF-Series to radically alter the size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) of future ISR missions in the electromagnetic spectrum is upon us,” says Ian Dunn, chief technology officer at Spectrum Control. “Our SCi Blocks family enables the rapid deployment of new wideband RF+Digital systems. The modularity and channel control of the architecture is designed to manage the integration of digital and analog technologies into a high-performance, single-slot solution. As you shrink critical functions, it opens up the opportunity to use these SWaP-C improvements to enable new capabilities or support new mission parameters.

“Plus, fixed analog and digital functions need to make room for more software functionality and the growing application of AI,” he adds.  

"Altera’s Agilex 9 SoC FPGAs Direct RF-Series enable partners like Spectrum Control to leverage next-generation technologies to deliver state of the art technology to the defense industrial base at an accelerated pace,” said John Sotir, Senior Director Military, Aerospace, and Government Business Unit, Altera.

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