IP-on-FPGA yields low power 10G Ethernet solution

IP-on-FPGA yields low power 10G Ethernet solution

Partners |
By Graham Prophet

Microsemi and Northern-California-based Tamba Networks, developer of connectivity intellectual property (IP) cores, have collaborated to incorporate Tamba Networks’ Ethernet media access controller (MAC) in Microsemi’s cost-optimized, low power, mid-range PolarFire field programmable gate array (FPGA) to offer industry-leading low power FPGA-based 10G Ethernet solution. Tamba Networks’ Ethernet MAC is, the partners say, half the area and twice the speed of competing Ethernet MACs, lowering costs due to its size optimization in addition to the high security and unique capabilities of PolarFire FPGAs.


As part of its collaboration with Tamba Networks, Microsemi used the company’s Interlaken and 10G/40G Ethernet MAC soft cores as key building blocks to evaluate and enhance PolarFire FPGAs’ fabric architecture, with 10G and 40G datapaths running at 160 MHz and 320 MHz. These cores offer low gate count and latency, with high flexibility. When combined with Microsemi’s low power fabric and low power transceiver, Tamba Networks’ 10G Ethernet soft core lowers the power of a 10G datapath by 50%. The device is also available as a direct core from Microsemi’s IP library.


PolarFire FPGAs are targeted at several additional applications in the communications market, including access network, network edge, metro (1-40G); mobile infrastructure, wireless backhaul, smart optical modules and video broadcasting. The devices are also suited to applications within the defence and aerospace market, such as encryption and root of trust, secure wireless communications, radar and electronic warfare (EW), aircraft networking, actuation and control. Ideal applications for the FPGAs within the industrial market include process control and automation, machine vision processing and analytics, programmable logic controllers, industrial networking, and video and image processing.


Tamba Networks was deeply involved in the development of the PolarFire transceiver’s physical coding sublayer (PCS), providing the 64b66b/64b67b encoding modules used for Ethernet and Interlaken. In addition, the company helped Microsemi modify the 64b66b encoder to operate with deterministic latency, ensuring support for Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) options 7b, 8 and 9.


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