N.A.T.: MicroTCA.4.1 LLRF backplane

N.A.T. announced a new MicroTCA.4.1 low level radio frequency (LLRF)backplane for the distribution of high precision RF and clock signals in embedded computing systems aimed at high energy physics research and other applications: the NAT-LLRF-Backplane.

Originally developed by DESY, the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, and now licensed by N.A.T., the NAT-LLRF-Backplane provides three extra slots for RF/clock signal generation and distribution modules. It provides high-frequency signal distribution in the range of DC to 6GHz (27 single-ended channels, star topology) and low-jitter CLK channels (22 differential pairs, star topology).

The backplane supports two RTM power modules, such as the NAT-RPM-PSC, and delivers a high-performance and managed power source for up to 12 MicroRTMs (μRTM) and three extended RTMs (eRTM). For cost-efficiency, the unit can also operate with no RTM-PM if the rear of the chassis only needs a limited amount of power.

The NAT-LLRF-Backplane also provides low noise separated analog bipolar power distribution (+VV, -VV) for μRTMs and unipolar power distribution for eRTMs. The NAT-MCH-RTM-BM-FPGA module provides system management functionality and the backplane provides three LVDS data communication links per slot to eRTMs. An on-board user I²C interface can be used for system management and communication among other functions.

The NAT-LLRF-Backplane can be mounted in a 9U chassis, such as the NATIVE-R9,  and it includes a dedicated shielding board which protects against electromagnetic interference induced by the AMC backplane. The backplane ground can be connected to/isolated from the chassis ground using screws. N.A.T. and the DESY research institute have studied the signal integrity of the design and optimized it to achieve best performance.

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