Red Pitaya is a privately-owned, Slovenian company whose mission is to change the test and measurement market. Its first product, STEMlab, is a credit-card-sized, multi-function, open-source and reconfigurable instrument that is designed to be a low-cost alternative to many expensive measurement and control instruments. STEMlab can function as an Oscilloscope, Logic Analyser, Signal Generator, Spectrum Analyzer and much more. STEMlab is based on high end FPGA technology, enabling software and hardware programming, coupled with very accurate high-end ADCs. Customizable at the FPGA and CPU levels, STEMlab can process real-world signals. STEMlab is not just a product; it is a test and measurement environment that includes a board, an application marketplace and a source code library. Its many users range from student teams all the way up to large multi-national corporations who describe STEMlab as ‘the Swiss Army Penknife for engineers’.
In February 2019, Red Pitaya launched a new, uprated version of the STEMlab™ product, STEMlab 122.88-16 SDR, that is tailored for HF+50MHz SDR (Software-Defined Radio) and RF applications that require DAQ systems with higher precision. This high performance STEMlab platform now suits applications requiring faster data and larger bandwidth. The improved specification will allow STEMlab to compete with high-end dedicated instruments, yet the original STEMlab form factor has been retained.
STEMlab 122.88-16 SDR comes with two 16 bit ADCs, 50 ohm inputs and 14 bit DACs, 50 ohm outputs. It uses the dual core ARM Cortex A9 offering massively better performance, the Xilinx Zynq 7020 FPGA for more real-time processing capabilities plus an ultra-low phase noise 122.88MHz clock which makes new the latest-generation STEMlab more hardware-compatible with HPSDR. 1Gbit Ethernet connectivity has been retained, and RF inputs have been improved in terms of distortion, noise and crosstalk which significantly improves reception and broadens the choice of antenna.
STEMlab 122.88-16 SDR retains the original STEMlab form factor so it directly replaces the current platform. This improved performance and affordability will enable the Red Pitaya community to build SDR transceivers and other scientific devices that will be able to compete with high-end, dedicated instruments, yet retain the flexibility and simplicity of the Red Pitaya concept.