Digital Record And Playback – For a RF Receiver

Collect hours of data at >1 GB/s

Client: A large high-tech R&D-oriented company.


  • Record hours of data at >1GB/s
  • Play back digital test patterns for the RF receiver at real-time rates to understand bit-error rates
  • Understand effects of RF chain prior to digitization
  • Allow for platform to assist with algorithm development, debug and optimization


We utilized off-the-shelf hardware combined with custom software and had a working system after ~7 man-weeks of effort. The DRAP system records and plays back digital data only, with A/D conversion being handled by the DUT. The system was developed on the National Instruments PXI Express platform. A RAID array of disks is used to continuously record data. Data manipulation is performed on a Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA that forms the basis of a National Instruments High Speed Serial board. The DRAP system is connected to the RF receiver using standard SFP+ connectors. A UI connects to the system locally or over Ethernet to monitor and control DRAP during record/playback. The customer can also control the system via an API so that it can be integrated into a larger test system.


  • Allows for repeatable data through the processing chain.
  • Can re-sample data, inject new headers into data packets, and re-pack new data.

System Overview