High-Performance Low-Cost Transceiver FPGAs for 3-Gbps Applications from Altera

19th May 2009
Posted By : Staff Reporter
High-Performance Low-Cost Transceiver FPGAs for 3-Gbps Applications from Altera

Altera has announced it has started shipping Arria II GX devices, its third family of 40-nm FPGAs. The Arria II GX family with integrated transceivers joins Stratix IV GX and Stratix IV GT FPGAs and HardCopyIV GX ASICs to extend the industry' broadest portfolio of transceiver FPGA and ASIC solutions.

Arria II GX FPGAs are the ideal devices for 3-Gbps transceiver applications requiring low-cost FPGAs with high-end capabilities. They offer 25 percent higher performance, up to 50 percent lower price and up to 50 percent lower power, compared to competitive high-end FPGAs. Arria II GX FPGAs are targeted for applications using mainstream protocols such as PCI Express (PCIe) and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). The devices have up to 16 3.75-Gbps transceivers, 256K logic elements (LEs) and 8.5 Mbits of internal RAM. In addition, the Arria II GX FPGAs also support targeted protocols such as CPRI, GPON, XAUI and triple-speed SDI.

“The trend towards high-speed serial interfaces is being driven by our increasing demand for information across varied markets and the designers need for higher bandwidth at lower cost and lower power. The Arria II GX FPGAs with integrated programmable transceivers offer best-in-class signal integrity that provides the flexibility to accelerate product development, while consuming less power than competing solutions,” said Luanne Schirrmeister senior director of component product marketing at Altera Corporation.

The low power of Arria II GX FPGAs reduces the cost of thermal management in end equipment by decreasing the number of fans and heatsinks required compared to competing high-end devices. This enables customers to use programmable logic in thermally constrained environments such as smaller enclosures with limited cooling options. Additionally, the low cost of Arria II GX devices enables system designers to utilize industry-leading programmable logic and transceiver technology in their product designs, allowing product differentiation with customized hardware and increased integration.

Arria II GX FPGAs offer a high-speed logic fabric based on Altera's advanced logic module (ALM) architecture—the same as in Stratix IV FPGAs—making them faster than competing high-performance FPGAs. They also offer higher memory- and multiplier-to-logic ratios than competing low-cost FPGAs. These additional memory and multiplier resources are especially important to 3-Gbps applications in the wireless, wireline, broadcast and military markets that utilize high-speed digital signal processing (DSP) and data processing operations.

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