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Monday, March 07, 2011

Xilinx looks to 400Gbit/s network development

Virtex-6 HXT FPGA Platform Eases 100G Development and looks beyond

By Nick Flaherty

In a stunning move, programmable chip maker Xilinx is looking at the development for 400Gbit/s systems with its latest generation of FPGAs, citing the rapid growth of video sharing and internet mobile platforms over both wireless and wired networks is driving insatiable demand for bandwidth. 
It has launched an Optical Transport Network (OTN) Targeted Design Platform for supporting faster market implementation of 100G line cards and demonstrating the key technology for a smooth path to the development of future 400G line cards based on its Virtex-6 HXT FPGA and says network operators and service providers are quickly pursuing 100G adoption and looking for next generation platform 400G line cards.
System architects can use the OTN platform to quickly demonstrate and evaluate the flexibility, high-end performance and integration capabilities of Xilinx FPGAs for 100G OTN applications. They can later smoothly migrate their designs to the Virtex-7 HT FPGA family to evolve to 400G line card applications.
"In order for the communications industry to effectively answer the insatiable demand for bandwidth, optical communications equipment vendors must deliver more rapidly and more effectively the necessary levels of flexibility, integration and performance without raising power consumption or costs into their optical platforms," said Krishna Rangasayee, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Xilinx's Communications Business Unit. "As part of Xilinx's recent acquisition of Omiino, we have created a new OTN Solution Delivery Centre that will include all of Omiino's deep OTN expertise plus their existing portfolio of OTN solutions and OTN development platforms to give our customers the most optimized and cost effective solution for their systems."
Xilinx claims to have the only FPGA on the market with 10 Gbps optical jitter compliant receivers, giving the OTN Targeted Design Platform pre-defined and implemented reference designs for different OTN solutions, such as 100G ODU switching, 100G Ethernet to OTU4 transponders and 10x10 to OTU4 transponders. The OTN platform also includes integrated features for ease-of-use, such as highly optimized IP 100G MuxSAR solution developed by Omiino.
The OTN Targeted Design Platform is also using OTN IP cores from Xilinx Alliance Program Members. The OTN Targeted Design Platform is also interoperable with optical module vendors, such as Avago Technologies, and optical tester vendor, such as JDS Uniphase Corp.
"OTN is surging in popularity, and is replacing the role held by SONET/SDH as networks transition to 40G and 100G," said Andrew Schmitt, Directing Analyst for Optical at Infonetics. "Equipment manufacturers seek flexible approaches to implementing hardware in a rapidly changing and growing market, and are looking towards soft solutions such as the OTN IP that are now part of Xilinx's library of communications IP."
Virtex-6 HXT
System bandwidth needs continue to evolve and further optical system density is required for the move to 400G slots that will sustain infrastructure growth over existing networks. Designers using 40nm Virtex-6 HXT FPGA OTN solutions to meet 100G challenges today will be able to migrate their designs in the future to the 28nm Virtex-7 HT family to meet impending 400G demands. This portability is largely due to the unified architecture between Virtex-6 and Virtex-7 devices, which offer the only 28 Gbps optical jitter compliant FPGA transceivers to connect to CFP2 modules -- up to sixteen 28 Gbps transceivers and seventy-two 13.1 Gbps transceivers to connect up to four next generation CFP2 optical modules (4x100G).
Virtex-6 HXT FPGAs offer both 6.6Gbps GTX transceivers and 11.18 Gbps GTH transceivers to enable next-generation packet and transport, switch fabric, video switching and imaging equipment. The devices are built on 40nm process using a third-generation FPGA architecture at a 1.0v core voltage with an available 0.9v low-power option.
Virtex-7 HT
Built with four to sixteen 28 Gbps transceivers complying with OIF CEI-28G, the Optical Internetworking Forum's Common Electrical I/O specification for 28 Gbps, Virtex-7 HT devices are designed to interface to next generation CFP2 and QSFP2 optical modules that will be used in next generation 100 – 400G system line cards. The devices also have up to seventy-two 13.1 Gbps transceivers and can offer up to 2.8 Tbps full duplex throughput.

Pricing and Availability
The Virtex-6 HXT FPGA OTN Kit is $25,000 without optical modules and is available for order in April 2011.
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