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250 MSPS acquisition board

PRODUCTS > FPGA > 250 MSPS ACQUISITION BOARD
ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board
ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board functional diagram ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board noise floor ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board distortion (DAC and ADC) ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board ADC crosstalk ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board DAC crosstalk ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board phase noise

The ALPHA250 is a programmable board built around a Zynq 7020 SoC. It features a 100 MHz RF front end with 14-bit ADCs and 16-bit DACs, at 250 MSPS. The RF channels are clocked by a dual PLL, ultra-low jitter clock generator. It includes a 4-channel 24-bit ADC and a 4-channel 16-bit DAC. The board comes with a comprehensive, open source, FPGA / Linux reference design.

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Includes

  • 12 V 1.5 A power supply
  • Micro-SD card with pre-installed OS

Specifications

ALPHA250 ALPHA250-4
Programmable logic, processor and memory
System On Chip Zynq 7020 XC7Z020-2CLG400I Zynq 7020 XC7Z020-2CLG400I
Memory 512 MB of DDR3L SDRAM 512 MB of DDR3L SDRAM
Processor ARM dual-core CPU (Cortex-A9) ARM dual-core CPU (Cortex-A9)
RF ADC
Number of channels 2 4
Resolution 14-bit 14-bit
Sampling rate 250 Msps 250 Msps
Coupling DC DC
Input impedance 50 Ω 50 Ω
Input range 1 Vpp 1 Vpp
RF DAC
Number of channels 2
Resolution 16-bit
Sampling rate 250 Msps
Coupling DC
Output impedance 50 Ω
Output range 1 Vpp
Input to output latency 90 ns
Ultra-low jitter clock for RF ADC, DAC and FPGA
Clock generator Dual loop PLL, 100-fs RMS jitter (12 kHz to 20 MHz) Dual loop PLL, 100-fs RMS jitter (12 kHz to 20 MHz)
On-board VCXO phase noise(10 kHz carrier offset) 160 dBc/Hz 160 dBc/Hz
Reference clock inputs FPGA, external clock or internal crystal oscillator FPGA, external clock or internal crystal oscillator
On-board TCXO 10 MHz, 280 ppb 10 MHz, 280 ppb
External frequency reference range 10 MHz ± 100 Hz 10 MHz ± 100 Hz
Precision analog monitoring and control
Precision ADC 4 channels, 24-bit 4 channels, 24-bit
Precision DAC 4 channels, 16-bit 4 channels, 16-bit
Voltage reference 2.5 V, low-drift (3 ppm/°C) 2.5 V, low-drift (3 ppm/°C)
Temperature sensor ±0.2 °C accuracy ±0.2 °C accuracy
Other
Connectivity 10/100/1000 Ethernet, USB 2.0, USB-UART 10/100/1000 Ethernet, USB 2.0, USB-UART
General purpose I/O 3V3 16 FPGA I/Os, 8 user LEDs 1V8 16 FPGA I/Os, 8 user LEDs
Operating temperature -10 °C to 60 °C -10 °C to 60 °C
Outside dimensions 113 mm x 108 mm x 27 mm 113 mm x 108 mm x 27 mm
Weight 123 g 123 g
Software
OS Ubuntu 16.04 Ubuntu 16.04
Reference designs FFT Analyzer, ADC / DAC with BRAMs, ADC / DAC with DMA, Phase noise analyzer, Loopback FFT Analyzer, ADC with BRAMs

Characterization

Noise floor

The RF ADC and DAC noise floors were characterized with this script available on GitHub. The input referred voltage noise density of the ADC is about 13 nV/√Hz. DAC voltage noise density, at zero output voltage, is about 23 nV/√Hz (19 nV/√Hz after subtraction of the ADC noise floor).

ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board noise floor
ALPHA250 noise floor

Below is the representation of the noise floor for the 4 ADC version (ALPHA250-4) inputs (50 ohm terminated):

ALPHA250-4 250 MSPS acquisition board noise floor
ALPHA250-4 noise floor

RF DAC 1/f noise depends on the output voltage level:

ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board dac noise floor versus output voltage
ALPHA250 dac noise floor versus output voltage

ADC front end frequency response

ALPHA250-4 250 MSPS acquisition board ADC front end frequency response
ALPHA250-4 ADC front end frequency response

Distortion

A 1 Vpp sine wave between 100 kHz and 40 MHz was sent by DAC0 and measured by ADC0 (see script). The figure below shows the amplitude of the second and third harmonic, relative to the fundamental frequency:

ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board distortion (ADC and DAC)
ALPHA250 distortion (ADC and DAC)

Distortion performance is limited by the DAC. ADC distortion (HD2 and HD3) stays under -80 dB up to 40 MHz.

Crosstalk

The crosstalk between the 2 ADC channels was characterized with the following script. The crosstalk is under -95 dB up to 120 MHz.

ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board ADC crosstalk
ALPHA250 ADC crosstalk

The crosstalk between the two DAC channels is shown below:

ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board ALPHA250 DAC crosstalk
ALPHA250 ALPHA250 DAC crosstalk

Phase Noise

The phase noise of a 10 MHz OCXO reference clock (from Textronix MCA 3027) against the internal TCXO was measured with the Phase Noise Analyzer reference design:

ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board phase noise
ALPHA250 phase noise

Input to output latency

Using the loopback reference design, we observe the delay between a pulse in input (green) and the reproduced pulse at the output (yellow) for the ALPHA250 - 2 ADC, 2 DAC version:

ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board input to output latency
ALPHA250 input to output latency

Loopback latency is 90 ns, corresponding to a π/4 phase shift at 1.4 MHz.

Precision converters

Temperature stability of voltage reference and precision DAC

ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board voltage reference and precision DAC temperature stability
ALPHA250 voltage reference and precision DAC temperature stability

Temperature stability of precision DAC measured by precision ADC

DAC output voltage is set to 1 V on channels 0 and 1. Precision DAC output is connected to precision ADC input.

ALPHA250 250 MSPS acquisition board precision DAC temperature stability measured by precision ADC
ALPHA250 precision DAC temperature stability measured by precision ADC

Since the voltage references of the precision DAC and the precision ADC are derived from the same voltage reference, the above measurement realizes a ratiometric measurement which rejects voltage reference drifts. Note that the 2.5 V reference avalaible on the expansion connector can also be used for ratiometric measurement.

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Ordering codes

PRODUCT NUMBER ATTRIBUTE
ALPHA250 RF front end 2 ADC, 2 DAC
ALPHA250-4 RF front end 4 ADC
ALPHA250-BP RF front end 2 ADC, 2 DAC / Mounted baseplate
ALPHA250-4-BP RF front end 4 ADC / Mounted baseplate

Export information

PRODUCT NUMBER COUNTRY OF ORIGIN HS CODE HTSUS ECCN
ALPHA250 France 90303900 9030390100 EAR99
ALPHA250-4 France 90303900 9030390100 EAR99
ALPHA250-BP France 90303900 9030390100 EAR99
ALPHA250-4-BP France 90303900 9030390100 EAR99

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