Thursday, July 20, 2017

Microsemi integrates Ethernet MAC to deliver FPGA 10 GBE

Microsemi, a provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, and Tamba Networks, a developer of connectivity intellectual property (IP) cores, have announced a collaboration through which they will incorporate Tamba Networks' Ethernet media access controller (MAC) into Microsemi's latest cost-optimised, mid-range PolarFire FPGA to offer a low power FPGA-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet solution.

Tamba Networks' Ethernet MAC is claimed to occupy half the area and to deliver twice the speed of competing Ethernet MACs, and can therefore offer Microsemi customers a lower cost solution based on its compact size combined with the security and advanced capabilities of PolarFire FPGAs.

As part of the collaboration with Tamba Networks, Microsemi has adopted the company's Interlaken and 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet MAC soft cores as key building blocks to evaluate and enhance PolarFire FPGAs' fabric architecture, with 10 and 40 Gbit/s datapaths running at 160 MHz and 320 MHz.

The Tamba Networks cores are designed to offer low gate count and latency along with flexibility. When combined with Microsemi's low power fabric and transceiver, the 10 Gigabit Ethernet soft core enables a 10 Gbit/s datapath that is claimed to offer 50% lower power consumption. Microsemi noted that the device is also available as a direct core from its IP library.

Microsemi stated that Tamba Networks was involved in the development of the PolarFire transceiver physical coding sublayer (PCS), providing the 64b66b/64b67b encoding modules used for Ethernet and Interlaken, and also helped modify the 64b66b encoder to operate with deterministic latency, providing support for common public radio interface (CPRI) options 7b, 8 and 9.

Microsemi's PolarFire FPGAs also target applications in the communications market, including access network, network edge, metro (1 to 40 Gbit/s), mobile infrastructure, wireless backhaul, smart optical modules and video broadcasting.


Microsemi noted that its PolarFire FPGAs are particularly suited to the access network infrastructure applications, where OEMs wish to deliver more bandwidth to customers while reducing costs.

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