Monday, March 28, 2011

Altera Targets Optical Interconnect Programmable Devices

Altera outlined plans for optically interconnected programmable devices to serve as chip-to-chip and chip-to-backplane bridges.

The company is leveraging its knowledge of system interconnect technologies to enable direct optical interfaces in future device packages and break through the bandwidth and signal integrity barriers inherent in copper technology. The idea is to embed optical interface technology into an FPGA. Specifically, an FPGA could be integrated with optics, such as a transmitter optical sub-assembly (TOSA) and transceiver optical sub-assembly (ROSA), providing direct optical signal transmitting and receiving without the need for a discrete optical module.
This could potentially reduce system power requirements by 70 percent to 80 percent while increasing port density and bandwidth.

"Altera has a strong history of delivering industry-leading technologies for today's design challenges, while at the same time developing breakthrough technologies that unlock new possibilities for the future," said Bradley Howe, vice president of IC engineering at Altera. "These direct optical interfaces have the potential to future-proof backplanes and deliver the vast quantity of available bandwidth long sought by application and content developers."


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