Altera Stratix GX Powers Pirelli's Radio-Over-Fiber 3G Network Solution

9/7/2004 - Pirelli has chosen Stratix®GX devices from Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) for its radio-over-fiber (ROF) solution for 3G networks using the universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) standard, the companies announced. ROF enables the transmission of radio signals directly over optical fiber, and its application in 3G networks allows network operators to deploy base stations more easily and at lower cost. Pirelli selected Altera®Stratix GX devices over application-specific standard products (ASSPs) and other transceiver-based FPGAs for their unbeatable combination of high-speed transceivers and industry-leading performance. Pirelli is demonstrating its ROF solution at the 30th European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) in stand 471.

“Our ROF solution requires the highest performing serial communication interfaces, high integration, and the flexibility to adapt to changing design requirements,” said Pierluigi Franco, vice president of Photonics Products Management of Pirelli Telecom Systems. “After evaluating all leading transceiver-based FPGAs and ASSPs, we concluded that Altera Stratix GX FPGAs were the best fit for our needs. The Altera solution provided lower power consumption than other FPGA options, and greater integration and flexibility than ASSPs. Further, the configurability of Stratix GX devices enables us to modify our design to address future design requirements, such as compliance with the Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) and Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) standards.”

ROF technology allows the baseband processing portion and the radio frequency (RF) processing antenna unit (AU) of a 3G base station to communicate over high-speed optical fibers. Before ROF, these two parts had to be physically close to maintain the fidelity of the high-speed communication data. The separation of the baseband and RF parts of the base station enables network operators to deploy base stations with more freedom and fewer restrictions, resulting in significant capital expenditures (capex) and operation expenses (opex) savings. The Pirelli ROF solution employs Stratix GX devices in both the baseband and the AU to enable the high-speed link between them.

“Pirelli’s choice of the Stratix GX solution is another example where Altera products are enabling great technological strides in the wireless communications market,” said Arun Iyengar, senior director of Altera’s wireless business unit. “Technology leaders like Pirelli require the highest performance devices, superior reliability, consistent availability, and flawless support to realize increasingly complex products, and Altera delivers in all of these critical areas.”

About Stratix GX Devices
The Stratix GX family is Altera’s second-generation embedded transceiver family based on a 0.13-micron process technology with 1.5-V core voltage. Stratix GX devices have up to 20 embedded 3.125-Gbps transceivers and up to 45 differential I/O pins with dedicated dynamic phase alignment (DPA) circuitry supporting up to 1-Gbps source-synchronous data transfers. More technical information about the Stratix GX device family is available at

About Pirelli
Pirelli is a global producer of tires, energy and telecommunications cables and systems. With more than 36,000 employees, 77 production sites and total sales of more than 6.6 billion Euros on December 31, 2003, Pirelli is one of the world’s leading companies. It focuses its R&D, production resources and competencies on leading-edge technologies, as demonstrated by the advanced Pirelli Labs in the photonics and new materials fields and by MIRS—the Modular Integrated Robotized System for tire production. Additional information on Pirelli Telecom Systems is available at:

About Altera
Altera Corporation is the world's pioneer in system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solutions. Combining programmable logic technology with software tools, intellectual property, and technical services, Altera provides high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers worldwide. More information is available at

Altera, The Programmable Solutions Company, the stylized Altera logo, specific device designations and all other words that are identified as trademarks and/or service marks are, unless noted otherwise, the trademarks and service marks of Altera Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

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