Date: 21st Mar 2012
FPGA and optical transceivers in single
package for higher data-speed
Altera said it has demonstrated Optical FPGA technology
developed in conjunction with Avago Technologies to increase
interconnect bandwidth while reducing overall system complexity,
power, and price.
Altera has integratedprogrammable devices and optical transceivers
within a single package.
"The Optical FPGA technology demonstration underscores
Altera's commitment to develop innovations that address
major industry challenges and ultimately, enable new innovations,"
said Bradley Howe, vice president of IC Engineering at Altera.
"As data rate demands continue to rapidly increase,
engineers need to look beyond copper and traditional optical
solutions in order to meet the performance, cost, and power
demands of next-generation video, cloud computing, and 3D
Altera explains: In a loopback configuration, the demonstration
shows 100GbE traffic of assorted packet sizes sent and received
using the chip's internal traffic generator. The data path
is sent back and forth through the FPGA transceivers and
optical modules to achieve a bit error rate (BER) of 10^-12
or less. The short routing distance keeps signal integrity
high and the emitted electromagnetic interference very low.
Digital diagnostics monitoring (DDM), such as module case
temperature and laser bias current, is also shown detecting
potential issues and preventing link loss. This is especially
critical for data center applications where link downtimes
can equate to millions of dollars in lost revenue. Finally,
the demonstration shows the optical FPGA's unique heat-sinking
capability, which ensures the optics stay within the standard
0°C to 70°C temperature range.
"As the world leader in Data Center optics, Avago
worked with Altera to combine our proven MicroPOD optical
modules with their Stratix FPGAs, taking the concept of
embedded parallel optics to the next level of integration,"
said Philip Gadd, vice president and general manager of
the Fiber Optics Product Division at Avago. "This will
allow FPGA users to utilize the high bandwidth and compact
size advantages of parallel optical interfaces that are
currently used in data centers."