Trident Systems is expanding its proven xDRT product line and offering its VDRT 3U VPX Processor as a Development Kit   

Trident Systems has announced the planned release of its latest xDRT development kit integrating their Versal Digital RF Transceiver (VDRT).  Based on the Xilinx VersalTM AI-Core VC1902 System-on-Chip (SoC) device, the VDRT is the latest 3U VPX processor in Trident’s line of proven Digital RF Transceivers and Processors for space.  These development kits allow customers to develop, benchmark and demonstrate mission applications early in the project lifecycle.  First deliveries of the VDRT development kits will begin in summer-2022.      

A key feature of the VDRT development kit, and all Trident development kits, is the use of flight-like, Engineering Development Units (EDUs) in a lab and user-friendly form factor.  Provided with Trident’s Board Support Package, including source files, example projects and user/reference documentation, the kits have been used on fast-paced space programs to accelerate hardware, software and firmware integration and reduce risk in later phases of the program.  “The development kits are really an extension of our Rapid Response methodology” said Dan Hibbard, Vice President of Trident’s Electronic Systems Division, “They’ve been a real key to success when it comes to complex and rapid integration, especially with new customers”.            

The VDRT design leverages the on-orbit heritage of Trident’s UltraScale+TM Digital RF Transceiver (UDRT) and implements some key reliability improvements for the space-radiation environment.  The VDRT harnesses the technologies in the Versal SoC devices, including Arm-Processors, Programmable Logic and AI Engines, and pairs it with 8GB DDR4 memory, redundant flash options, flexible high-speed interfaces in a radiation effects mitigated design.  A 16 GTY transceiver enabled mezzanine site allows integration with data conversion (ADC/DAC), storage (SSD) and other custom mezzanine card for increased flexibility.  Implemented in a 3U SpaceVPX/OpenVPX design, multiple VDRTs can be integrated for scalable performance, including real-time and cold spare redundancy.  The processor has already been targeted for several mission areas, including machine learning and edge processing.  “We’re excited to see what the VDRT can do when paired with our customer’s advanced processing techniques”, Dan continued, “and equally excited to see the VDRT fuel the rapid evolution of multi-function RF and processing space electronics.”