11/5/2002 - Xilinx announced key additions to its high-speed serial I/O design solutions built on leading Virtex-II Pro architecture. In addition to the extensive IP core solutions for all major parallel and serial connectivity standards such as PCI Express, 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (XAUI), and SONET, Xilinx is now offering an in-depth serial connectivity training course, six development and characterization boards, complete 3.125 serial transceiver characterization data, and a dedicated serial design web portal.
The expanded solution offering supports the company's 'Serial Tsunami' initiative to bring designers up to speed on serial design techniques required for the next generation system designs. Serial connectivity offers significant system cost savings through fewer pins, cheaper printed circuit boards, smaller connectors, lower EMI, increased signal integrity, and better noise immunity.
"Designing and integrating multi-gigabit serial transceivers on an FPGA is an art more than a science. By licensing already proven technology from MindSpeed, and acquiring industry unique expertise through the RocketChips acquisition, we were the first semiconductor company to market with a platform FPGA solution for serial connectivity," said Ray Johnson, general manager of the Communications Technology Division at Xilinx. "Since we began shipping Virtex-II Pro devices earlier this year, our team has invested significant time in characterizing the silicon and building complete design solutions to make design starts easy. We're now adding the necessary training and support needed to get started in using this bleeding-edge technology."
Intensive Training Course on RocketIO Multi-Gigabit Transceivers
Xilinx Virtex-II Pro is the only Platform FPGA with 3.125 gigabit serial transceivers, immersed PowerPC processors and the highest density FPGA fabric in the industry. The latest Virtex-II Pro FPGA family provides up to 24 3.125 Gbps serial transceivers in the largest 2VP125 device to provide up to 75 Gbps total bandwidth. To facilitate designers on taking full advantage of these advanced technologies, Xilinx is offering a two-day detailed training course on how to utilize the Virtex-II Pro RocketIO transceiver. The course is designed to enable designers to quickly employ RocketIO serial transceivers in their next system design by learning how to use specific RocketIO transceiver features such as CRC, 8b/10b encoding, channel bonding, clock correction, and comma detection. Other topics include debugging techniques, use of the Architecture Wizard, synthesis and implementation considerations, and standards compliance. This course also offers a hands-on lab for designers to program the various RocketIO features and utilize RocketIO transceiver in a real design such as PCI Express or 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
New RocketIO hardware Platforms for Demonstration, Characterization, and Evaluation
Xilinx also offers designers a comprehensive list of hardware platforms, software tools and design examples that can be used to demonstrate, evaluate and characterize designs with the Virtex-II Pro 3.125Gbps RocketIO serial transceivers at a wide range of performance levels. The suite of boards includes the Xilinx ML32x hardware platforms that allow designers to characterize, investigate and experiment with the RocketIO features. The ML32x boards are excellent vehicles for demonstration of eye diagrams at up to 3.125 Gbps speeds, signal integrity, and interoperability studies. The suite also includes AFX boards used for demonstrating serial designs and PowerPC processor-based development and prototyping. Virtex-II Pro development boards with serial connectivity support are also available from Insight Memec. The suite of hardware platforms enables system engineers to develop Virtex-II Pro based programmable systems to lower overall system cost for serial applications such as SONET, 1 & 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and Fibre Channel.
Ignis Optics, a Xilinx Reference Design Alliance Program Partner, and leading supplier of optical transceiver solutions based in San Jose, Calif., utilized the ML32x board to successfully demonstrate full interoperability between its proprietary fiber optic transceivers and the Virtex-II RocketIO transceivers. Such an evaluation and demonstration platform is a key advantage when customers need a vehicle to test and validate their high-speed serial interface designs.
"We are extremely pleased to have an industry leading product such as the Xilinx Virtex-II Pro FPGA to demonstrate the capability of our low cost small form factor serial I/O technology enabled by our I/O-PKG optical engine," said Michael Lebby, CEO at Ignis Optics. "Having the Virtex-II Pro directly drive our optics without an external PHY will greatly reduce our customers' overall system costs."
Industry's most comprehensive 3.125 Gigabit serial transceiver characterization data
For completing successful gigabit serial I/O designs, detailed I/O characterization data is required in addition to PC Board design rules, design software, signal integrity tools and silicon. Xilinx has characterized the RocketIO transceivers over a large range speeds and media such as industry standard FR4 PC Board material and HSSDC2 Cables. All data such as jitter, eye width, etc was taken at the Xilinx Characterization Labs, in San Jose using An Agilent Technologies 86100A Digital Communications Analyzer (DCA) and compared to measurements taken at the MindSpeed, San Jose Lab, using similar hardware. Results from both sites correlated and have been verified by both parties. To download the full RocketIO Characterization report, please visit the Xilinx SPICE Suite Dedicated Serial Design Resource Web Portal.
Comprehensive web resource for designers
Xilinx understands the challenge of serial design and has created a serial design resource web portal dedicated to accelerating the development of high-speed serial design in order to minimize design risk and reduce overall system cost. The serial solution web portal can be reached through the Connectivity Central at www.xilinx.com/conenctivity and provides a one stop shop for system engineers to access in-depth simulation models, characterization reports, signal integrity tools, PCB layout recommendations, serial intellectual property (IP), and reference designs developed both in house or through collaboration with a wide range of industry leaders.
Pricing and Availability
The price of the 2-day RocketIO class is $1,000, or 10 Training Credits, and it is currently scheduled for San Jose on November 11-12, Boston on November 18-19, Ontario Canada on December 3-4, and Raleigh on December 16-17. Classes outside North America are in progress and will be announced at a later date. The ML32x boards are available in a loaner program. A limited quantity of the ML32x boards will be also available for sale. The AFX boards are available now and range in price from $1,495 to $1,695. The AFX boards can be purchased either through qualified Xilinx distribution channels or Xilinx online store.
About Serial Tsunami
The Xilinx Serial Tsunami initiative, announced October 21, 2002 is designed to accelerate the industry move from parallel to serial I/O technology by delivering next generation connectivity solutions that meet bandwidth requirements from 3.125 Gbps today to 10 Gbps and beyond.
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions.
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