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Thunderkiq™ NV100: High Performance SDR in the Palm of Your Hand

Wyatt Taylor

05/22/23

Epiq Solutions is excited to introduce the Thunderkiq™ NV100, a Thunderbolt™ 3 compatible SDR designed to meet the needs of users who require high-performance RF, phase coherency, and low SWaP-C without the constraints of an embedded form factor. Based on our flagship small form factor SDR, the Sidekiq™ NV100, the Thunderkiq NV100 opens up new possibilities for SDR applications in a wide range of host platforms.

The Sidekiq™ NV100 is Epiq Solutions' latest small form factor SDR, integrating the highest performance RF transceiver into a very small SWaP-C footprint. The M.2 connector on the NV100 allows for integration into a range of host platforms where the NV100 can be used as an embedded SDR. But, what happens when low SWaP-C, high performance, and standard interfaces are required, yet an embedded form factor is not? Enter the Thunderkiq NV100, a Thunderbolt™ 3 compatible SDR.

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Thunderkiq NV100: Key Features

The Thunderkiq NV100 takes the NV100, wraps a housing around the core SDR, and exposes the embedded interfaces as non-embedded connectors. On the RF side of the radio, the miniature U.FL connectors on the NV100 are exposed as more commonly used SMA connectors for receive, transmit, GPS, PPS, and reference clock. On the digital side of the radio, the power and data pins of the M.2 interface are connected to an integrated Thunderbolt™ 3 chipset and are exposed on a USB-C connector. Finally, the GPIO signals on the M.2 interface are translated to 3.3V logic and are exposed on a miniature D-Sub connector.

Here's a breakdown of the Thunderkiq NV100's key features:

  • RF Connectivity: Miniature U.FL connectors on the NV100 are transformed into more commonly used SMA connectors for receive, transmit, GPS, PPS, and reference clock.
  • Digital Connectivity: The power and data pins of the M.2 interface connect to an integrated Thunderbolt™ 3 chipset and are exposed on a USB-C connector.
  • GPIO Signals: The M.2 interface's GPIO signals are translated to 3.3V logic and exposed on a miniature D-Sub connector.
  • Compact and Powerful: Weighing less than 250 grams and measuring less than 8.3 inches³, the Thunderkiq NV100 is compact yet packed with critical SDR functionality.

The result? Embedded-free, high-performance SWaP-C SDR solution. Thunderkiq NV100 can operate completely outside of embedded environments while still providing multiple channels of high-performance RF in a small SWaP-C package.

Applications and Compatibility

The Thunderkiq NV100 is ideal for applications where direct connectivity to a laptop or computer host is preferred over integration on a PCIe carrier or other embedded processor host. Crucially, it retains the high-performance RF, phase coherency, and low SWaP-C that we've discussed in our previous blog post on phase coherency. The USB-C connector enables access to a broad range of commercial host compute platforms that support the Thunderbolt™ protocol. The D-Sub and SMA connectors are industry standards for a range of RF front-end amplifier and antenna solutions.

Thunderkiq NV100 is in the final stages of design and validation, and will be available as early as August 2023!

Discover More

Thunderbolt™ is a trademark of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Sidekiq™ and Thunderkiq™ are a trademark of Epiq Solutions.

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