Military Embedded Systems

PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: Mercury Systems’ DRF3182 Direct RF Processing Module

Sponsored Story

February 05, 2023

This week’s product, the Mercury Systems DRF3182 Direct RF Processing Module, is a new COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) open-architecture board that leverages Intel’s new Stratix 10 AX SoC field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Designed for electronic warfare (EW), electronic intelligence (ELINT), and radar applications, this technology can enhance a wide range of applications including software-defined radio (SDR) and communications.

The new product enables the direct digitization and processing of broadband RF signals. Unlike traditional systems that use costly analog frequency conversion hardware, direct RF technology enables the direct processing of broadband signals. This streamlined architecture reduces the total system size and cost while increasing flexibility.


Direct RF technology removes the need to implement RF to IF up- and down conversion prior to digitization. This eliminates equipment and complexity from solutions seeking to reduce size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C). The advanced data converters in the DRF3182 provide frequency agility to enable systems to rapidly respond to an ever-changing spectral environment.

The DRF3182 offers heterogenous FPGA processing with explosive A/D & D/A speeds of 51.2 GS/sec, Ku band frequency coverage from 2-18 GHz, and six 100 GigE interfaces with an aggregate throughput of 75 GB/sec.


  • Flexible compute, high-speed connectivity, and frequency agility for radar, EW, and test and measurement applications
  • Integrated, advanced data converters
  • COTS 3U VPX, 4Rx/4Tx, 51.2 GSPS Direct RF module with Intel Stratix 10 AX SoC FPGA
  • Fast sample rate providing high instantaneous bandwidths
  • Heterogeneous integration

SWaP Benefits

The direct RF capabilities of the DRF3182 remove the requirement for RF-to-IF conversion in the 2–18 GHz frequency range. This eliminates separate up/downconverter hardware found in most EW and radar systems. Furthermore, RFSoCs (RF System on Chips) – with their on-chip data converters and ultra-short-reach interfaces – require less power, take up less space, and provide lower latency when compared to solutions employing discrete data converter designs.


  • 3U OpenVPX (VITA 65) encompasses: VITA 46.0, 46.3, 46.4, 46.6, 46.11 and VITA 48.1, 48.2 (REDI)
  • Data planes: PCIe Gen 3 support and/or VITA 49.2
  • Backplane interface: SLT3-SWH-8F-14.14.2 slot profile
  • Processor: Intel Stratix 10 AX-Series SoC FPGA
    • 2753 logic elements
    • Quad core ARM processor
    • 244 MB of on-chip memory
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR4 total: 2 GB for FPGA fabric, 2 GB for HPS
  • Data converters
    • ADC: Four 10-bit ADC channels up to 51.2 GS/sec
    • DAC: Four 10-bit ADC channels up to 51.2 GS/sec
    • Programmable tunable digital up/down converter (two per port)
    • High instantaneous bandwidth allows large portions of spectrum to be directly digitized
  • VITA 46.11 IPMI controller
    • Sensor interface to monitor temperature, voltage
    • Power sequencing
    • Secure JTAG
    • Manufactured in an AS9100D facility


The DRF3182 is built with an EchoCore FPGA, which simplifies application integration by providing a standard control plane interface using AvalonMM control plane connectivity and a simple AvalonSteam interface for data plane interfaces. Customers may choose their own tool to generate signal processing algorithms, such as vendor-specific IPs, HLS, or RTL. The cores are then instantiated into a reserved user block and compiled into the FPGAs.

For more information, visit the DRF3182 page here, or visit the company’s website, or follow the links below.




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Mercury Systems

50 Minuteman Road
Andover, Massachusetts 01810