Lattice Semiconductor has just announced that its LatticeECP3 FPGA family is compliant with the PCI Express 2.0 specification at 2.5Gbps. The LatticeECP3 FPGA and its PCI Express (PCIe) IP core passed PCI-SIG PCIe v2.0 compliance and interoperability testing for 1- and 4-lane configurations at a recent PCI-SIG workshop, ensuring that Lattice’s solution is interoperable with existing PCIe 2.0 supported systems. Achieving this significant industry milestone enables cost and power reduction with higher reliability for 2.5Gbps PCIe v2.0 systems for communications, multimedia, server and mobile platforms, and adds to the broad range of design solutions from Lattice and its IP partners that support the widely adopted serial interconnect standard.
The PCIe v2.0 specification allows operation at a lower speed (2.5Gbps), but the loop bandwidth characteristics are different and more rigorous than for PCIe v1.1. The Lattice solution allows customers who do not need the PCIe link to operate at 5Gbps, but who care about PCIe v2.0 compliance, to use a low cost FPGA in PCIe v2.0 compliant systems.
In addition, Lattice has worked with Trellisys Ltd to provide a robust and cost-effective PCIe Bus Functional Model (BFM) for Lattice's PCI Express x1 and x4 IP Cores. While there are a number of third party verification cores available for PCI Express, these are typically targeted at ASICs/custom logic and the cost of the verification IP often becomes prohibitive in the FPGA development flow. The Trellisys PCIe BFM concentrates on the transaction layer, since typically that is where the user application logic is implemented. This approach assumes that physical and data link layers, which are completely encapsulated in the Lattice PCIe IP cores, have already been verified by Lattice.
Example of a PCIe Endpoint system
using Lattice Semiconductor IP
The Trellisys PCIe BFM supports both Verilog and VHDL and has been verified on both the Aldec Active-HDL and Riviera-PRO simulators. It is delivered as precompiled code but provides the user with a powerful procedural library on which an advanced verification suite can be based. Designers can immediately begin the evaluation and design of PCI Express 2.0 compliant systems in LatticeECP3 FPGAs using the IPexpress tool within the Lattice Diamond 1.2, or later, design tool suite. The IPexpress tool provides the PCIe core, reference designs and all the scripts, BFM and simulation models needed to streamline integration into customer designs.
About the Lattice IP Suites
Lattice IP Suites are a family of interoperable LatticeCORE IP cores optimized for Lattice device architectures that enable various technology-specific applications. The IPexpress tool within the Lattice Diamond design environment allows customers to seamlessly access the latest IP cores from the Lattice IP server and configure them. All Lattice IP cores can be fully evaluated prior to purchase: in the free evaluation mode, customers can fully configure an IP core, integrate it into their designs, perform full verification and even run it in hardware for a limited time. Purchase of an annual node-locked IP Suite license enables the member IP core to operate in hardware for an unlimited time. The node-locked license can be used on multiple designs or projects over a one year period. For more information about how Lattice IP Suites can bring value to design projects, please visit: www.latticesemi.com/IPSuites
Pricing and availability
The Lattice PCI Express IP Suite is currently priced at $99 as part of a separate promotion. The regular list price of the IP Suite will be $995 after the limited promotion. The IP Suite is available for immediate ordering through authorized Lattice distributors listed at www.latticesemi.com/sales
About the Lattice ECP3 FPGA family
The LatticeECP3 FPGA family offers standards-compliant, multi-protocol 3.2G SERDES, DDR1/2/3 memory interfaces and high performance, cascadable DSP slices that are ideal for RF, baseband and image signal processing. Toggling at 1Gbps, the LatticeECP3 FPGAs also feature fast LVDS I/O as well as embedded memory of up to 6.8 Mbits. Logic density varies from 17K LUTs to 149K LUTs with up to 586 user I/O. The LatticeECP3 FPGA family is ideally suited for deployment in high volume cost- and power-sensitive video camera and display, wireline and wireless infrastructure applications.