The ideal radio receiver could detect and process signals over the entire radio spectrum as desired, and RF Engines Limited (RFEL) has made a significant step in this direction with the introduction of an innovative, ultra-wideband channelizer IP core: ChannelCore Flex™.

ChannelCore Flex enables users to extract any number of channels simultaneously in real time from a wideband input signal. The channels can have any combination of bandwidths and sampling rates with any overlap and centre frequencies. Each channel can be individually defined and changed as required, allowing the system designer to tailor a solution in a single FPGA that precisely meets the needs of the application.

ChannelCore Flex targets applications such as electronic surveillance, satellite communication and future base station architectures requiring simultaneous monitoring, detection and demodulation of a mixture of disparate communication channels, such as WiMax and GSM, using a single architecture.

Although basic channelization using FFT methods is a relatively a straightforward signal processing task, it has significant limitations. All channels must have the same bandwidth, the number of channels must be traded off against the bandwidth per channel, the centre frequencies must be fixed and uniformly spaced, and compromises in bandpass and stop-band performance must be accepted. RFEL employs advanced signal processing techniques, including proprietary techniques, to overcome these limitations and create an ultra-wideband channelizer that offers unrivalled performance and flexibility.

ChannelCore Flex can be configured to support many thousands of channels over an input bandwidth exceeding 1 GHz. The bandwidths of the individual channels can vary by several orders of magnitude, they can be overlapped to accommodate broadband transmissions, and the centre frequencies and sample rates can be independently tuned with resolution below 1 Hz. This yields a channelizer architecture that can be configured to support concurrent monitoring of multiple channels with bandwidths ranging from a few hertz to several hundred megahertz, with an aggregate channelized sample rate that can exceed 1 Gs/s.

Image: RF Engines Ltd