AMC with Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ & 4x ADRV9009 Transceiver

N.A.T.’s software defined radio (SDR) unit, the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR, is a unified development platform in a ready-to-deploy format, that combines best-in-class hardware with a tailored, comprehensive software package.

This flexible SDR platform in the AMC from factor targets wireless applications that require a scalable number of phase-coherent antennas. It supports four or eight RF channels, defined by the number of stacked FMC mezzanine cards.

The synchronization of multiple SDR boards enables you to create large antenna arrays with RF phase-coherent radio channels, i.e. up to 48 RF channels in s single 2U 19” rack space. 

The unique combination of an all-programmable Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+™ FPGA with integrated quad-core ARM® processor and the ADRV9009 RF-front end from the latest Analog Devices family of RF devices make the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR the ideal platform for the wireless communications system architect seeking a unified development platform in a ready-to-deploy package which operates over a wide RF tuning range from 75MHz to 6GHz on up to 8 phase synchronous RF interfaces and a maximum channel bandwidth of 200MHz.

Further features such as observation channels for Digital-Pre-Distortion (DPD) and flexible I/O i.e. for control of external PAs allow solutions for advanced applications.

Software Support
For an easy-to-use experience, the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR is accompanied by a comprehensive software package that implements both the control plane, to control FPGA and RF interfaces,  and the data plane, i.e. for continuous low latency streaming of I/Q samples.

  NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR Software Architecture  

The default firmware package contains all modules for starting development of both onboard and target applications:

  • Linux board support package (BSP) and device drivers for controlling FPGA IP cores and on-board devices
  • N.A.T. libraries for continous streaming of IQ samples, compliant with GNU Radio and MATLab®
  • Sample applications for MATLab®, GNU Radio, and Python
  • Applications for control and management
  • Software documentation

The default firmware package additionally contains a real time PCIe IQ streaming driver for external signal processing units.

For more information about the software architecture with the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR please contact N.A.T..


FPGA Reference Design
The default firmware package also contains an FPGA sample project (project template) as reference design for Xilinx® Vivado® Design Suite with board-specific modules that can be used as a base frame for developing the target application. It contains modules for:

  • ADRV9009 RF transceivers
  • JESD204b interfaces
  • PCIe to MTCA backplane
  • Gbit Ethernet to MTCA backplane
  • Local clocking
  • Clocking to MTCA backplane

Due to its flexibility and scalability, the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR is suitable for use with a broad range of wireless communication appliances such as

  • Wide band receiever and transmitter
  • Phased arrays
  • Radio direction finding and tracking
  • Frequency scanner and signal intelligence
  • Radio astronomy and satellite modems
  • Advanced wireless research
  • Cellular prototyping and proof-of-concept


Technical Papers
In order to allow customers a fast entry into application specific development with the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR unit, N.A.T. has compiled application-specific technical papers that are based on best practice approaches. The technical papers explicitly describe set-ups, software and hardware setting as well as sample applications including verification procedures. Currently available are technical papers for

  • Multi-Unit RF-Phase Synchronization
  • Fast Frequency Hopping
  • Application Development with NAT-SDR-FLEX and MATLab® and GNU Radio 

Deployment Options
The NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR can be easily integrated into any system hosting AMCs, allowing a flexible and application-specific scaling of the number of RF interfaces. In addition to further SDR units, other AMCs such as processing units etc. can be selected from the market and easily added through a standardized plug-and-play procedure.

For a quick and easy start, N.A.T. offers several housings as turnkey systems available off-the-shelf, each of which allows you to add further NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR modules. This line of SDR system products, named NAT-SDR-FLEX, is available in three options:   NAT-SDR-FLEX


The NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR consists of an FMC Carrier FPGA Board (NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-FMC) with one or two stacked RF mezzanine boards in the FMC form factor (NAT-FMC-SDR4-T alone gives you four channels and NAT-FMC-SDR4-T plus NAT-FMC-SDR4-M gives you eight channels).

This modularity makes the platform extremely flexible since you can change the RF front end and front panel I/O simply by choosing N.A.T.’s FMC-boards with the desired functions. SDR properties, such as number of RF channels, filtering, control IO for external RF components and high speed interface ports (e.g. QSFP), can be brought into the platform by choosing the right FMC building blocks. Custom mezzanine cards with special functions can be developed in close collaboration with N.A.T..

Its small foot-print of 180 x 73.5 mm2 with a height of either 13.66mm (4 RF interfaces) or 23.65mm (8 RF interfaces) combined with its low power consumption of 29W (typ). at its operational voltage of 12VDC allows the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR unit to be used with any standard or custom housing.

N.A.T. has more than 30 years of international experience in product customization and can therefore comply with your special hardware requirements such as ruggedization or a custom foot-print, i.e. from AMC to VPX.

Apart from the hardware and software design services N.A.T. also provides consultancy services to its customers.

Please do not hesitate to contact N.A.T. for any question or special request you might have.

Key features
Technical details
Block diagram
Order code
  • Development platform in ready-to-deploy package with optional housing
  • Flexible combination of Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+™ FPGA SoC (ZU7EG or ZU11EG) and ADVR9009 Analog Devices RF front-end
  • 8 phase synchronous Tx+Rx with integrated 14-bit DACs and 16-bit ADCs
  • Software tuneable across wide frequency range from 75MHz to 6GHz including Fast Frequency Hopping Mode by profiles
  • Tuneable instantaneous channel bandwidth at data converter up to 200MHz
  • Operates at 12VDC with 29W (typ.) consumption
  • Observation channels for Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD)
  • Support for external PA
  • Combination of units for MIMO and phased array support
  • Includes Linux BSP and Host Driver
  • Includes FPGA IP-core and high-speed low latency streaming interface via PCIe
  • Support for Matlab and GNU Radio available 


  • 4x Analog Devices ADRV9009 dual RF transmitter, receiver and observation receiver
  • Maximum receiver bandwidth: 200 MHz
  • Maximum tuneable transmitter synthesis bandwidth: 450 MHz
  • Maximum observation receiver bandwidth: 450 MHz
  • Multichip phase synchronization for RF- and baseband signals
  • Multiboard synchronization
  • JESD204B IQ sample data interface to FPGA
  • Tuning range (center frequency): 75 MHz to 6000 MHz
  • RX gain range: 30dB in 0.5dB steps

RX Noise Figure:
2dB @ 800 MHz
3dB @ 2.4 GHz
3.8 dBm @ 5.5 GHz

Maximum output power:
9 dBm @ 75 MHz < f ≤ 600 MHz
7 dBm @ 600 MHz < f ≤ 4000 MHz
6 dBm @ 4000 MHz < f ≤ 4800 MHz
4.5 dBm @ 4800 MHz < f ≤ 6000 MHz

TX Error Vector Magnitude (EVM):
0.5% @ 75 MHz LO
0.7% @ 1900 MHz LO
0.7% @ 3800 MHz LO
1.1% @ 5900 MHz LO

3rd order output intermodulation OIP3:
23 dBm @ 800 MHz
19 dBm @ 2.4 GHz
17 dBm @ 5.5 GHz

Processing Resources

  • System on Chip (SoC) Xilinx UltraScale+ ZU7EG or ZU11EG - F1517 footprint
  • Application processor: Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 MPCore up to 1.5 GHz
  • Real-time processor: Dual-core ARM Cortex-R5 MPCore up to 600 MHz
  • System logic cells: 504k / 653k
  • DSP slices: 1728 / 2928
  • 14x GTH 16.3Gb/s transceivers to MTCA backplane
  • 10x GTH 16.3Gb/s transceivers to mezzanine cards

Memory & Storage

  • 8GB DDR4 (x64, 1600-3200Mb/s) for ARM-CPU (PS)
  • 8GB DDR4 (x64, 1600-3200Mb/s) for FPGA (PL)
  • 4GB eMMC
  • SD card holder
  • QSPI flash
  • Connector for additional memory modules
  • Optional RLDRAM3 on module (2133Mb/s, 1 Gb, x36, 8ns tRC) for low latency access (up to 6 times faster than DDR4-3200). Useful for applications requiring RAM look up tables (LUTs)
  • Optional QDR4 SRAM or additional DDR4-SDRAM

Backplane Connection

  • Full AMC TCLKA-D and FCLKA connectivity (bidirectional)
  • Ports 0, 1, 4-15 to FPGA GTH 16.3 Gb/s transceivers
  • Dual 1 Gb/s Ethernet
  • 10/40 Gb/s Ethernet via FPGA
  • One x8 or dual x4 PCI Express Gen3 via FPGA or
  • Dual x4 SRIO/XAUI via FPGA
  • Any combinations of PCIe, SRIO, XAUI (on request)
  • 2x4 point to point links (low latency) to FPGA
  • 4 trigger lines
  • Ports for SATA, SAS
  • IPMI for module management
  • JTAG

Front panel

  • 8 TX, 8 RX, 8 ORX
  • 4 x 7 GPIO 1V8 to ADRV9009
  • 4 x 4 GPIO 3V3 to ADRV9009
  • 12 x GPIO 1V8 to FPGA
  • 1 PPS IN
  • CLK IN (JESD204b)
  • SYNC for JESD204b
  • 2x Trigger IN/OUT to FPGA
  • SD card holder
  • UART-USB serial console for ARM core and MMC
  • AMC standard LEDs and hot swap handle
  • Application LEDs

Physical Dimensions

  • Single-wide, full-size AMC
  • Width 73.5mm, depth 180.6mm


  • AMC.0 R2.0, AMC.1, AMC.2, AMC.3, AMC.4, IMPI V1.5, HPM.1
  • EN60950, UL1950, RoHS
Rev #
Date Last Modified
nat_amc_zynqup_sdr_ds Data Sheet pdf 1.2MB 1.2 02-08-2019
nat_amc_zynqup_fmc_hw Technical Reference Manual pdf 1.4MB 1.1 04-05-2021
nat_fmc_sdr4_hw10 Technical Reference Manual Hardware Version 1.0 pdf 600KB 1.0 24-09-2020
nat_fmc_sdr4_hw11 Technical Reference Manual Hardware Version 1.1  pdf  500KB  1.1 20-10-2020 
nat_amc_zynqup_sdr_man_usr User's Guide
NDA required, pls. refer to note below
pdf - - -
nat_amc_zynqup_sdr_pb Product Brief pdf 2.1MB 12 26-08-2020

Note on the User's Guide for the NAT-AMC-ZYNQ-SDR:

The User's Guide for the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR requires an NDA to be in place. Please fill out the form by providing your full contact details including your company street address and we will be right in touch with you. Thank you!

Product Code: NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR[Option]






NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR with 4 RF interfaces at front panel in single mid-size format, incluidng one x4 mini-Coax-to-SMA adapter cables and one 8GB mSD card



NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR with 8 RF interfaces at front panel in single full-size format, including two x4 mini-Coax-to-SMA adapter cables  and one 8GB mSD card

Note: hardware package is delivered with 

  • Vivado® sample project
  • Linux Board Support Package and Host Driver
  • N.A.T. SDR Library for up to 8 channel phase synchronous operation and low latency streaming of IQ samples
  • Hardware user manual
  • Sample application for GNU Radio and Matlab®