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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

FireFly kits provide easy connection from FPGA to fibre

By Nick Flaherty

Samtec has launched a series of 14 Gbit/s Development Kits to simplify the connection between FPGAs and fibre optic links.
The kits provide  an easy-to-use evaluation and development platform for Samtec’s FireFly optical engines.

The 14 Gbit/s FireFly FMC Module provides up to 140 Gbit/s full-duplex bandwidth over 10 channels from an FPGA to an industry-standard multi-mode fibre optic cable for data centre and high performance computing (HPC) designs using protocols such as Ethernet, InfiniBand, Fibre Channel and Aurora.

The optical engines are based on proven 850 nm VCSEL array technology while featuring adjustable power levels to support cable lengths up to 100 m.

As a VITA 57.1-compliant FMC, the module can be used for optical data communication on any FMC-enabled FPGA development board supporting high-speed multi-gigabit transceivers. It can run system data or BERT testing from a single channel to all ten channels in parallel. Technical documentation and FPGA reference designs are available for quick start-up.

“Evaluating optical engine technology has high barriers of entry,” said Matt Burns, Product Marketing Manager at Samtec. “The  development kit eases FireFly evaluation and development by using the FMC interface common on most industry-standard FPGA development tools.”

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