Teledyne e2v is making available to customers the beta-version of its latest digital-to-analogue converters (DACs) - the EV12DD700 dual-channel device.

This wide output bandwidth 12-bit (or 8-bit) data converter can deal with sample rates of up to 12GSamples/s and has the capacity to generate signal waveforms over multiple frequency bands.

When compared to existing DACs, it is first on the market to support operation within the Ka-band (26GHz upwards). A number of sophisticated features have been incorporated, such as direct digital synthesis (DDS), plus digital up conversion (DUC) via a built-in 32-bit numerically-controlled oscillator (NCO) in order to facilitate greater throughput without putting excess strain on the IC’s resources.

The EV12DD700 DACs will enable engineers to take significant steps towards creating next generation RF systems that have much greater versatility. It will mean that RF system designs with cutting-edge digital functions, like fast frequency hopping (FFH) and beamforming, can be realised. The software-based approach that is envisaged will make it possible to implement configuration changes directly in code, by configuring the DAC, rather than having to go to the inconvenience and expense of making alterations to the hardware. Key applications will include radar, satellite communication, terrestrial network infrastructure, etc.

This announcement follows on from the EV12DD700-based evaluation board that Teledyne e2v introduced back in the spring, via which engineers could initially gauge the performance levels delivered. Now with direct access to samples, they will get the opportunity to look at how the DACs will fit into their designs and begin to plan migration.

“Through these unique DAC devices we are accelerating the widely anticipated software-isation of RF, which is something that is certain to bring huge benefits in the future,” said Nicolas Chantier, Marketing Director for Data & Signal Processing Solutions at Teledyne e2v. “Availability of samples at this point will be highly appealing to engineers, as it will take time to rethink how their data conversion architectures are going to be structured.”

The new EV12DD700 DACs will be supplied in a Hi-TCE package format with 20mm x 20mm dimensions. These robust ICs have a wide operational temperature range, which covers -55°C to 125°C.