RF+Digital Blocks


Miniature, modular, intelligent building blocks for
current- and next-generation EW and ISR systems.

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"The threat is analog. The response is digital."

The SCi Blocks architecture ("pronounced sky blocks") integrates analog plus digital technology to create innovative, miniaturized system building blocks to meet the SWaP-C mission requirements of modern warfighting.

Evolving Defense Requirements

The DoD is focused on size, weight, power, cost, open standards, and response times.

Reductions in size, weight, power and cost are key drivers in current and next generation defense systems: larger platforms needing to add functionality in an existing footprint or to extend mission range, and smaller platforms such as UAVs and attritables where cost and form factor are paramount. 

The DoD now requires standard interfaces and modular designs for subsystems to improve agility, upgradability and repairs.

Shortening the time from threat identification to response is a key initiative in modern defense strategy. That means rapidly identifying the signal of interest, separating and conditioning the signal for high fidelity and then converting the signal to digital data for processing using machine learning and AI.

A New RF+Digital Approach

Spectrum Control is leveraging its 70 years of spectrum leadership with a clear vision for addressing these new requirements

Spectrum Control has dramatically reduced the size of the RF front end for EW systems with system blocks that deliver wideband fidelity and excellent signal isolation. The team redesigned RF functional elements, densified the RF circuits with novel designs, simulated the performance, and then implemented the designs using surface-mount manufacturing.

These SCi Blocks products are designed to be easily integrated into EW/ISR systems using open standard interfaces. Multi-channel, drop-in.

RF with a brain. Each of these sophisticated SiPs, Mezzanines, and Modules was designed from the ground up with integral digital control and I/O for RF tuning, block management, and industry-standard interfaces.

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Lowering the artificial boundaries between the analog and digital domains. Ultra-miniature, RF+DIGITAL integrated solutions to simplify system design and integration and deliver on the SWaP-C promise without compromise.

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Wideband, ultra miniature modular SiPs, mezzanines and modules for high-fidelity, tunable RF front-ends with integral digital control.

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Direct RF conversion modules with configurable RF+ co-processors. High-fidelity signal conditioning and high-speed signal conversion.

Solutions for Today+Tomorrow

Mission needs are different. The flexible SCi Blocks architecture allows you to address the unique requirements of legacy, current, and next generation ISR, SIGINT,and EW systems.

Legacy (4th Gen)
Companies tasked with upgrading legacy systems can benefit from current SCi Blocks products. Flexible 3U OpenVPX modules can easily address wideband/multi-band signal capture and conditioning with standard IF outputs.

Current (5th Gen)
Emerging platforms such as attritables, unmanned systems can benefit from a small, lightweight form factor like the wideband Tx/Rx packaged mezzanines. These can readily be configured to meet the specific needs of the platform.

 Future (6th Gen)
Spectrum Control is addressing the requirements for direct-to-digital with a Direct RF solution in partnership with Intel/Altera. What sets us apart is the RF+ co-processor that can efficiently pre-condition wideband signals for digital conversion and processing at the edge.

FAQs for SCi Blocks

Read more about the new family of products from Spectrum Control.

What is 'Sky Blocks'?

From SIPs to Mezzanines to Modules, Spectrum Control SCi Blocks architecture is revolutionizing how RF is integrated into the open, modular, and increasingly digital systems of the future – miniaturized, modular, and intelligent.  

Why does this matter?

The Department of Defense has established open architecture initiatives as part of its goal to modernize its programs. This open initiative provides long-term advantages in repair and upgrades and prevents a supplier’s proprietary standards from locking the government into a restricted source of supply. SOSA (Sensor Open Systems Architecture) has been adopted as a standard by each of the US Armed Forces branches. Spectrum Control has embraced these open standards and has been developing a series of integrated engineering, design, and manufacturing initiatives to position the company as a leader in open standard RF building blocks for current and future DoD programs.

We know how much time customers spend directly and indirectly integrating, tuning, and sustaining RF functions in their systems. SCi Blocks are designed to minimize this problem by giving our customers a unified digital interface that spans the life of the product and is common to Spectrum Control’s offering.

How is our approach different?

To achieve the goals of miniaturized, modular, and intelligent solutions we have applied a systems design approach, integrating RF and digital engineering teams to work in concert from the onset of new product development. We have an exceptionally talented engineering team that has achieved breakthroughs in size and functionality. Our underlying technologies, design approaches, and systems-level engineering expertise gives us the foundation to develop a series of products in the coming years that will truly separate us from our competitors. The initial product launch at IMS and following will allow us to demonstrate some of what is possible using our architectural approach. As we roll this out to the major defense contractors and DoD personnel, we expect to see requests for any number of variations and modifications to our initial designs.


Want to learn more?

Due to the nature of this technology, we are limiting the release of specifics at this time. If you’d like more information about product availability and customization needs, please contract the Spectrum Control team directly or use this secure form to be introduced to the team.