Altera Showcases FPGA Support for PCI Express 2.0 at DesignCon

Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) announced at DesignCon that it is demonstrating support for the PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 specification, as well as showing PCIe 1.1 and 2.0 signals on cables and backplanes, with its Stratix(R) II GX FPGAs. With up to 20 low-power transceivers, Stratix II GX family is the only high-density production FPGA capable of delivering 100 Gbps of aggregate bandwidth on FR-4 circuit boards and backplanes up to 1 m in length, using the new 5-GT/s PCIe 2.0 specification from PCI-SIG.

The Altera(R) devices can also deliver up to 80 Gbps on 15 m of copper cable on a new cable specified by PCI-SIG last week. Live demonstrations showing Stratix II GX FPGAs’ support of the specifications are on display at DesignCon, Santa Clara, Calif., in Altera booth 503 and Molex booth 301.

Altera demonstrations showcase 5-GT/s PCIe 2.0 compliance using the Stratix II GX-based PLDA XpressGXII prototyping board. In another demonstration, Stratix II GX FPGAs reliably transmit data over an unprecedented 30 m (98 feet) of PCI Express cable at the PCIe 1.1 and 2.0 rate of 2.5Gbps, and on 1 m (39 inches) of FR-4 backplane at the PCIe 2.0 rate of 5Gbps.

The unrivaled level of signal integrity performance, margin and robustness is made possible by exploiting the advanced channel-loss compensating features of Stratix II GX low-power transceivers, and by using on-chip voltage regulators to provide noise immunity. Molex is demonstrating 5-Gbps PCIe 2.0 capability using Stratix II GX transceivers over 15 m (49 feet) of their iPass(TM) PCIe cable and on 1 m of their I-Trac(TM) backplane.

“Our first-mover advantage is a result of working closely with a number of PCI-SIG members to aid in the development of the PCIe specifications,” said David Greenfield, senior director of product marketing for high-end FPGAs at Altera. “Furthermore, our partnership with PLDA during our companies’ PCIe 2.0 development gives us the ability to provide PCIe 2.0 IP targeted to the only PCIe 2.0- and PCIe 1.1-capable FPGAs in production today—the Stratix II GX family.”

About Altera and PLDA PCI Express Solutions
The PCIe 2.0 demonstration builds upon the PCIe solutions already developed by Altera and PLDA.

The PLDA XpressGXII prototyping board includes PLDA’s PCI Express intellectual property (IP) core, IP configuration software, and the corresponding test-bench and reference designs for x1, x2, x4 and x8 endpoint applications. PLDA XpressGXII includes everything needed to jumpstart and validate any PCIe application, and is ready for PCIe 2.0.

Altera’s PCI Express Development Kit, Stratix II GX Edition, includes a comprehensive solution to quickly evaluate and validate the functionality of Altera’s PCIe solutions. The Stratix II GX-based PCIe board included in the kit can be used as an x1, x4 or x8 PCIe add-in card for prototype development with PCIe motherboards. It can also be used as a stand-alone card, offering flexibility to support several high-speed protocols including Gigabit Ethernet, 10-Gigabit Ethernet, XAUI, and x1 or x4 Serial RapidIO(R) interconnects.

More information: PLDA boards and IP cores | Development Kit | PCIe solutions

About Altera
Altera’s programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets.

Altera, The Programmable Solutions Company, the stylized Altera logo, specific device designations and all other words that are identified as trademarks and/or service marks are, unless noted otherwise, the trademarks and service marks of Altera Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.