SAN JOSE -- Altera Corp. here today announced shipment of the first in a series of Intellectual Property (IP) cores for programmable logic that are compatible with PMC-Sierra Inc.'s line of POS-PHY Level 3 products are currently shipping to select customers.
Altera said the cores are designed for new generation of super routers and layer 3 switches that are required for next-generation, multi-service voice and data networks.
"Altera's IP core which supports the POS-PHY Level 3 interface will enable the rapid development of next-generation packet-based networking equipment," said Bill Richardson, director of business partnerships at PMC-Sierra. "The flexibility provided by the combination of Altera's POS-PHY cores and PMC-Sierra's family of POS-PHY devices allows designers to add key differentiation without sacrificing schedule -- the end goal is reduced time-to-market for our mutual customers."
The POS-PHY interface was developed by PMC-Sierra in conjunction with the Saturn Development Group, an industry consortium of leading networking companies. POS-PHY Level 3 has been endorsed by the ATM Forum and is pending at the Optical Internetworking Forum.
Altera's POS-PHY Level 3 MegaCore functions are designed for use in link layer or physical layer devices that transfer data to and from POS devices using the standard POS-PHY interface. The MegaCore functions are comprised of separately configurable modules, which may be combined via Altera's MegaWizard Plug-In tool to generate a highly parameterized module that allow POS-PHY compliant interfaces to be included in custom designs.
The MegaCore function supports POS-PHY Level 3 operating at greater than OC-48 line speeds (2.5 gigabit per second), enabling efficient translation between the different formats, including mapping between different bus speeds, and bus widths, as well as customizable FIFO parameters.
Altera said it is now participating in the definition of the POS-PHY Level 4 standard, a next-generation interface that will support cell- and packet-based point-to-point connections at ultra-high-speed OC-192 (10 Gbits/s) line rates.
The company's APEX 20KE devices include multiple low-voltage differential signaling (True-LVDS solution) channels operable at 840 Mbits/second.
"The POS-PHY L4 interface will push networking equipment through the OC-192 barrier," saidPMC-Sierra's Richardson. "The fact that Altera can demonstrate POS-PHY Level 4-capable performance with their current devices is a major achievement."
The POS-PHY Level 3 function consists of two separate MegaCore products -- the PHY layer and the Link layer. The Link layer core and the PHY layer core will be fully released by the fourth quarter. Both cores are priced at $12,995 each.