The folks at Altera are bouncing around with exciitement at the moment, because they've just announced two new FPGA families with integrated transceivers.
The new Stratix IV GT and Arria' II GX 40-nm FPGA families join Stratix IV GX FPGAs and HardCopy IV GX ASICs to expand Altera's portfolio of transceiver FPGA and ASIC solutions. This portfolio offers transceiver speeds from 155 Mbps to 11.3 Gbps, thereby addressing a wide range of applications, from cost sensitive video cameras to ultra-high-performance backhaul systems.
The Arria II GX, Stratix IV GT, and Stratix IV GX FPGAs and HardCopy IV GX ASICs utilize common transceiver technology and are supported by a common set of development tools that enable system designers to develop full system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. This portfolio delivers both FPGA solutions from 16K logic elements (LEs) to 530K LEs, and HardCopy ASIC solutions of up to 11.5 million ASIC gates.
The programmable fabric and integrated programmable transceivers provide designers with the flexibility needed to overcome unpredictable design requirements. Altera's transceiver technology provides easy-to-use signal integrity features that accelerate product development, while consuming less power than competing solutions.
Claimed to be the highest performing FPGAs available, Stratix IV GT devices are also said to be the industry's first FPGAs to include integrated transceivers operating at 11.3 Gbps. The architecture is optimized specifically for 40G and 100G applications such as communications systems, high-end test equipment, and military communications systems.
Stratix IV GT FPGAs have 24 transceivers operating at 11.3 Gbps, and an additional 24 transceivers operating at 6.5 Gbps, to deliver the industry's highest bandwidth available. The Stratix IV GT devices also offer up to 530K LEs, 20.3-Mbits internal RAM and 1,288 18 x 18 multipliers. For detailed information, see www.altera.com/pr/stratixivgt.
By comparison, Arria II GX devices are claimed to be the lowest power 3.75 Gbps transceiver FPGAs and are cost-optimized for applications using mainstream protocols such as PCI Express (PCIe) and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). They feature up to 16 3.75-Gbps transceivers, 256K LEs, and 8.5 Mbits of internal RAM.
In addition, the Arria II GX FPGAs also support targeted protocols such as CPRI for LTE and WiMAX wireless infrastructure access equipment, GPON and XAUI for wireline infrastructure access and networking equipment, and triple-speed SDI for broadcast and other video processing equipment. A collection of reference designs and design examples accelerates the development of solutions using Arria II GX FPGAs. For detailed information on these new devices, see www.altera.com/pr/arriaiigx.
The FPGAs and HardCopy ASICs in Altera's transceiver portfolio are supported by Altera's new Quartus II design software version 9.0. This design software provides a single tool suite for all FPGA and ASIC products, complemented by one IP set and a common transceiver technology. Together, this delivers the "learn it once, use it everywhere" experience that increases system designer productivity while reducing time to market and engineering expenses.
Altera also provides a suite of tools to ease transceiver integration and board design, including the Pre-Emphasis and Link Estimation (PELE) tool, the power distribution network (PDN) tool, and the Early Simultaneous Switching Noise (SSN) Estimator, as well as SPICE and IBIS simulation models and a board-design guidelines document.
With the introduction of these two new FPGA families, Altera builds on the existing 40nm Stratix IV GX FPGAs and HardCopy IV GX ASICs. Designers can prototype with the Stratix IV GX FPGA series and seamlessly migrate to HardCopy IV GX ASICs to achieve low total cost, low risk and fast time-to-market solutions for their custom logic needs. For additional information, visit www.altera.com/pr/40nmdevices.
Pricing and availability
Stratix IV GT devices are shipping now. Contact your Altera sales representative for pricing.
The first Arria II GX device, the EP2AGX125, will ship in May 2009 with production devices scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2009. Budgetary pricing for the smallest device, the EP2AGX20, will start as low as $15 for 100K unit quantities in 2010. All of the Arria II GX devices will be supported in the Quartus II design software version 9.0 in March 2009.
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