Specifications and Interfaces

Absolute Maximum Ratings

Stresses beyond those listed in the Absolute Ratings Table may cause permanent damage to the device. These ratings are stress specifications only. Functional operation of the product at these conditions is not implied. Exposure to absolute maximum rating conditions for extended periods of time may affect reliability and is, therefore, not recommended.


Laboratory Use Only EXCEEDING ABSOLUTE RATINGS MAY DAMAGE DEVICE AND MAY CAUSE DANGEROUS FIRE OR ELECTRICAL HAZARDS Exceeding these ratings may substantially damage device, and the resulting hazards may cause serious personal injury or death.

Table 1: Absolute Ratings: Exposure or sustained operation at absolute ratings may permanently damage Crimson TNG. Ensure fan inlets (located on both sides of the device) are not blocked during operation.

Specifications Min Max Units Notes
Operating Temperature 5 40 C At fan inlet
Operating Humidity 5 100 % Non-Condensing
Storage Temperature 0 40 C
Storage Humidity 20 95 % Non-Condensing
Low-Band Input RF Power (<200MHz) -10 dBm Do not exceed.
High-Band Input RF Power (>200MHz) 10 dBm Do not exceed.
IO and TRIG Voltage 2.6 V Do not exceed: Direct to FPGA.
External Reference 3 Vpp Do not exceed.
SMA Torque 0.6 0.7 Nm


Crimson TNG is a very flexible radio and signal processing platform that supports high bandwidth communications over a wide tuning range. The hardware and signal processing capabilities may be configured to support a very wide variety of applications, each with their own figures of merit. It is, therefore, fairly challenging to provide uniform performance specifications across those different configurations.

To provide a general idea of what this product is capable of, Table 2 lists some conservative figures of its out-of-box performance. Configuration of the product towards a specific application may see some of these figures exceed at the expense of others. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Table 2: Observed Performance. These specifications reference observations taken during internal use and development. Calibration Measurements relative to 20˚C

Specification Min Nom Max Units
Common Radio RF Stage (ADF4355) 110 6800 MHz
Baseband Stage 0.1 140 MHz
Dynamic Range 25 70 dB
SFDR 65 dB
Receive Radio RF Input Power -40 dBm
Noise Figure, Rx RF St 3.1 7 dB
Power Gain Low 15 45 dB
Power Gain High -10 65 dB
Group Delay (Radio Chain)\(^{1}\) Low 13.7 ns
Group Delay (Radio Chain)\(^{1}\) High 20 ns
ADC (Receive Converter) Independent Channels 4 -
ADC resolution 16 bits
ADC Sample Rate 325 325 MSPS
Rx Sampling Bandwidth 325 MHz
Latency (input to serial)\(^{1}\) 50 ns
Receive DSP and FPGA Specs (default Firmware) Decimation \(\left(\frac{f_{s}}{n}\right)\) 1 256 -
Latency (FPGA DSP)\(^{1}\) 50 500 750 ns
Transmit Radio Transmit Power Low -30 18 dBm
Transmit Power High -10 15 dBm
Group Delay (radio chain)\(^{1}\) Low 5 ns
Group Delay (radio chain)\(^{1}\) High 11 ns
DAC (Transmit Converter) Tx Output Bandwidth 325 MHz
DAC resolution 16 bits
DAC Sample Rate 325 MSPS
Latency (serial to output)\(^{1}\) 50 655 804 ns
Transmit DSP and FPGA Interpolation (\(n\cdot f_{s}\)) 1 256 -
Specifications Latency (FPGA DSP)\(^{1}\) 96 160 ns
Digital FPGA - Arria V ST SOC 5ASTMD3E3F31 -
On Board Processor Core ARM Cortex-A9 MP
NAND Flash (x8) 4 Gb
Networking 10GBASE-R, Full Duplex\(^{2}\) (each) 10 Gbps
Default IP, SFP+ Port A -
Default IP, SFP+ Port B -
Int. Reference (10MHz) Frequency Stability -5 5 ppb
Ext. Reference (10MHz) Input Voltage Swing 2.2 2.4 3 Vpp
IO, PPS, and TRIG FPGA IO Voltage Range 0 2.5 2.6 V

\(^{1}\)For additional information on latency, please refer to the Application Note on Latency.

\(^{2}\)For additional information on bandwidth and sample rate, we have an Application Note that might be of interest.

External Interfaces

Crimson TNG has a number of user accessible interfaces through which the device can connect to external sources and sinks. Management functions are carried out over a web page hosted by the Crimson TNG transceiver and accessible using the Management Ethernet port on the front face of the device. Data is sent over the 10Gbps SFP+ ports and receive and transmit antennas connect to the SMA connectors on the front of the device. Other peripherals ports provide access or the capability to improve functionality.


Please note, not all 10Gbps NICs support 10GBASE-R protocols - it is important that you ensure the card you select supports communication using 10GBASE-R. If you have questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Operating System

Although Crimson TNG may be used with any operating system, we strongly recommend using a Linux operating system. This ensures you will be able to take advantage of a very large body of high performance that exists to support high performance computing applications, while also providing a more comprehensive development environment. It will also users to more easily use our existing example code, it’s best to set up the GnuRadio and UHD applications.

After connecting the Crimson TNG Transceiver to an external network or computer using its dedicated Ethernet management port, you may configure the device using the provided web interface. It is also possible to SSH into the small Linux distribution running on the on-board processor.

Network Interface Card Requirements

Crimson TNG uses a 10-gigabit Ethernet connection to quickly send and receive data. The Crimson TNG uses a 10GBASE-SR PHY that interfaces with each SFP+ port using a single, 10.3125Gbps serial lane and a scrambled 64B/66B coding scheme. It is very important to ensure that network devices or interfaces intended to be used to connect to Crimson TNG support 10GBASE-SR.


There is a significant difference between a 10GBASE-X interface (4 serial lanes specified to 3.125Gbps using 8b/10b coding), and the 10GBASE-R interface (1 serial lane specified to 10.3125Gbps using 64b/66b coding) that Crimson TNG uses. Although both standards may expose the same mechanical SFP+ interface (and thereby allowing you to mechanically connect the two interfaces) the standards are fundamentally incompatible. Connecting Crimson TNG (10GBASE-R) to a network card that only supports 10GBASE-X or 10GBASE-T will not work.

The recommended NICs for Crimson TNG are:

Manufacturer MPN Host Interface
Solarflare SFN8522-ONLOAD PCIe 3.1 x8
Xilinx X2522-25G-PLUS PCIe 3.1 x8

Solarflare Flareon Ultra SFN8522-Onload Dual-Port 10GbE SFP+ PCIe 3.1 Server I/O Adapter is available here. Xilinx X2522-25G-PLUS 10/25GbE - SFP28/SFP+ - 2x Port - Low Profile Adapter Card is available here.

If you have any questions or concerns about NIC card requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Optical Fibre Requirements

Crimson TNG requires active optical cabling: using passive, direct connect, SFP+ cables is not supported. Our product can ship with high quality, direct attach, SFP+ active optical cabling (AOC) with the appropriate kit option. Alternatively, you may also choose to use a compatible 10GBASE-R SFP+ optical transceiver module, along with fibre cable.

The recommended optical fibre cables for Crimson TNG are:

Manufacturer MPN

Or, use a combination of optical cable and transceiver with the following:

Cable Specifications

Specification Recommendation
Cable LC Duplex
Connector Type LC UPC
Multimode Fiber Quality OM4 or better
Number of Fibers 12
Polarity Type B (patch cable)
Colour any
Length As short as possible (suggested <5m, up to 100m)
Wavelength 850nm

Transceiver Specifications

Description Specification Notes
Electronmechanical SFP+
Protocol 10GBASE-SR4 We only support -SR4 type transceiver modules connected to Crimson
Connector LC Duplex Same as cables
Wavelength 850nm Should match cabling
Transceiver DDM or DOM Support Yes

If you have any questions or concerns about transceiver or optical fibre requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

RF Chain

Simulated RF chain performance (based on component specifications) yield the simulated performance indicated in Table 3. As both the receive and transmission chains use variable stages, the figures were calculated using midpoint references for attenuation and gain stages. With proper tuning and calibration, you should expect better values. More information on the specific RF chain used may be found in the System Architecture Chapter.

Table 3: These specifications are intended to serve as a broad guide, with variable gain and attenuation stages set at midpoints. As variable stages are adjusted, performance generally improves.

Table 3a:

Specification Value Units
Input Power -55 dBm
Frequency 2000 MHz
Analysis B/W 150 MHz

Table 3b:

Analysis Specification Value(lna) Value(lna+pa) Units
Rx chain NF 4.8 3.1 dB
SFDR 55 47 dB
IMD -113 -81 dB
IIP3 -1.3 -17 dBm
SNR 32 33 dB
Rx Sensitivity -86 -87 dBm
Input P1dB -28 -44 dBm
Tx Chain Power Gain -20 5 dBm
SFDR 40 70 dB