Scalable, Efficient ASICs for the Square Kilometre Array: From A/D Conversion to Central Correlation

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a future radio telescope, currently being designed by the worldwide radio-astronomy community. During the first of two construction phases, more than 250,000 antennas will be deployed, clustered in aperture-array stations. The antennas will generate 2.5 Pb/s of data, which needs to be processed in real time. For the processing stages from A/D conversion to central correlation, we propose an ASIC solution using only three chip architectures. The architecture is scalable—additional chips support additional antennas or beams—and versatile—it can relocate its receiver band within a range of a few MHz up to 4 GHz. This flexibility makes it applicable to both SKA phases 1 and 2. The proposed chips implement an antenna and station processor for 289 antennas with a power consumption on the order of 600 W and a correlator, including corner turn, for 911 stations on the order of 90 kW.

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By: Martin L. Schmatz, Rik Jongerius, Gero Dittmann, Andreea Anghel, Ton Engbersen, Jan van Lunteren and Peter Buchmann

Published in: RZ3857 in 2013

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