SAN MATEO, Calif. ( ChipWire) Lucent Technologies Inc.'s Microelectronics Group this week will unveil its first two parts aimed at 10-Gigabit Ethernet, both of which incorporate FPGA logic to accommodate the incomplete 10-Gbit/second standard.
The ORLI10G line interface will serve as the connection between a 10-Gbit Ethernet media-access controller and optical transmission and receiving equipment. The chip uses the XBSI serial bus, which so far has been accepted for the 10-Gbit Ethernet standard. It includes 400,000 gates of programmable logic.
The ORT82G5 serializer/deserializer (serdes), for its part, features eight channels running at up to 3.125 Gbits/s apiece, and 600,000 gates of programmable logic.
Besides being able to run 10-Gbit Ethernet one likely configuration of which would involve four channels of 3.125 Gbits/s each the ORT82G5 can run more slowly for use in existing equipment, such as the OC-48 (2.5-Gbit/s) switches being deployed in metropolitan networks, said Samir Samhouri, general manager for networking intellectual property at Lucent Microelectronics.
Both chips incorporate Lucent's Orca Series 4 FPGA architecture. The programmable logic will allow customers to alter the way the chips interface with higher-speed components, such as lasers, said Barry Britton, Lucent Microelectronics' director of marketing. Buffering, for example, will vary from vendor to vendor, he said.
In addition, the inclusion of FPGA gates allows for changes in the IEEE-802.3ae standard for 10-Gbit Ethernet, which is still in the drafting process.
The parts represent Lucent's ongoing efforts to meld FPGA gates with standard-cell logic to produce programmable standard parts. The idea is being pursued by several companies, but Lucent hopes to gain an edge by exploiting its in-house arsenal of silicon cores and the company's system-level heritage (see Aug. 18 story).
In addition, Lucent already is planning for the 40-Gbit/s versions of the ORLI10G and ORT82G5, Samhouri said. Standard CMOS devices are expected to be insufficient for those speeds; Samhouri wouldn't disclose Lucent's plans but confirmed that materials such as silicon germanium were "part of what we're working on."
Software for the ORLI10G and ORT82G5 will be available in December, Samhouri said. The software will be based on Lucent's Orca Foundry tools for FPGAs.
The ORLI10G and ORT82G5 are expected to begin sampling in January and March, respectively; volume shipments are expected roughly two months later, Britton said. The ORLI10G will be priced at $195 each and the ORT82G5 at $365 each, both in quantities of 50,000.