Xilinx Launches Virtex-5 TXT FPGA Platform

Xilinx(R), Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) announced the world’s first single-FPGA solution for telecommunications equipment manufacturers developing the next generation in Ethernet bridging and switching solutions. Aimed at spurring innovation and growth in the 40- and 100-Gigabit Ethernet (GE) market, Xilinx has added the Virtex(R)-5 TXT platform to its industry-leading, high-performance family of 65-nanometer (nm) field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The Virtex-5 TXT platform consists of two devices that deliver the highest number of 6.5Gbps serial transceivers available on any FPGA, and are fully supported with application-specific IP, development tools, and reference designs for implementing high-bandwidth protocol bridging.

“The explosive growth in Internet traffic for video over IP is creating the need to rapidly scale the world’s IP infrastructure. This has a direct impact on IP backbone network capacity, individual core router size, router-to-router link bandwidth, and the performance of optical transport networks used to carry traffic across wide area networks,” said Dean Westman, Vice President, Communications Business at Xilinx. “Virtex-5 TXT FPGAs tackle the challenges these requirements impose on hardware designers by enabling ultra-high bandwidth communications on a power-optimized programmable platform. This is a critical step forward for the telecommunications industry, and has the potential to accelerate development of the 40GE and 100GE infrastructure needed to deliver multimedia services.”

According to Communications Industry Researchers (CIR) analyst Lawrence Gasman, the industry efforts led by the IEEE to create 40- and 100-GE systems will result in $4.3 billion in annual revenues by 2016, “Although the new Ethernet standards will impact every segment of the network from long-haul to interconnect, the initial demand thrust is expected to come from servers, which will account for just over 40 percent of the 40/100Gbps Ethernet market by 2016. Even with 40Gbps Ethernet, there will still be a need for 100Gbps, especially for switch connections, which will represent half of the 100GE market in 2016.”

Flexible FPGA Architecture
The innovative ASMBL(TM) architecture first introduced with Virtex-4 FPGA family enables Xilinx to rapidly develop and deploy domain-optimized silicon platforms targeted at the technical requirements of specific markets and applications. With its forty-eight (48) 6.5Gbps GTX transceivers, the new Virtex-5 TXT platform is uniquely optimized for 100GE applications. It is designed to improve signal integrity for reliable operation of 10/100Gbps links, lower power consumption per channel for better reliability, and provide programmable support for multiple protocols, thus easily adapted to evolving standards for the interface between 100Gbps optical modules and the media access controller (MAC).

Virtex-5 TXT devices offer the only single-chip solution with built-in flexibility and re-programmability to scale as 40GE and 100GE hardware requirements and standards mature, while delivering the 600Gbps total bandwidth required today to build network bridges such as:

  • 100GbE to 120Gbps Interlaken
  • 40Gbps Quad XAUI to 50Gbps Interlaken
  • OC-768 to OTU-3
  • SFI-5 to 4xSFI4.2

Non-Telecommunications Applications
The high-bandwidth capabilities of the Virtex-5 TXT platform are also well suited for high-performance computing and video broadcast applications. The high-transceiver count and ability to support multiple standards on a single programmable Virtex-5 TXT device delivers the flexibility, performance and low-risk required by these markets.

Leading-Edge Innovation
Early developers of 100GE systems have relied on Virtex devices for their ability to deliver programmability and performance at the leading edge. In November of 2006, Xilinx FPGAs were used to showcase the world’s first successful 100GE transmission through a live production network demonstrated at SC06 International Conference by Finisar, Level3 Communications, Internet2, and the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC). In June of this year, telecommunications services giant Comcast Corporation announced the successful completion of a 100GE technology test over its existing backbone infrastructure between Philadelphia and McLean, VA using the industry’s first 100GE router interface. The system used Sarance Technologies’ High Speed Ethernet IP Core (HSEC) running on a Virtex-5 FXT FPGA, which is now available as part of the new Virtex-5 TXT solution.

“The integration of our Ethernet IP solutions on a single Virtex-5 TXT FPGA is a compelling value proposition to enable telecom equipment manufacturers to get to market quickly,” said Farhad Shafai, Vice President of R&D, at Sarance Technologies. “Hardware developers can reduce their system costs by minimizing components and circuit board area, while also meeting power and thermal management targets. Not only does this ease the transition to 100GE, it means that the wired telecom industry can maximize profits from the deployment of the next-generation multimedia infrastructure.”

Pricing and Availability
Customers can immediately begin designing with Virtex-5 TXT FPGA devices using the ISE(TM) design suite service pack 3 available www.xilinx.com/ISE. The HSEC IP core is available from Sarance Technologies (www.sarance.com). The Virtex-5 TX150T and Virtex-5 TX240T devices will begin sampling by the end of calendar 2008 with production devices available in the first quarter of 2009. The TX150T device will list for under US$500 in 5,000 unit volumes by second half of 2009. The Virtex-5 EasyPath(TM) program supports Virtex-5 TXT devices for high-volume cost reductions. For more information, please visit: www.xilinx.com/virtex5txt.

About Virtex-5 FPGAs
Named ‘Product and Innovation of the Year’ by EDN Magazine, the Virtex-5 family represents the fifth generation in the award-winning Virtex series. Built upon the industry’s most advanced 65nm triple-oxide technology, breakthrough new ExpressFabric(TM) technology and proven ASMBL(TM) architecture, the Virtex-5 family includes four domain-optimized platforms for high-speed logic, digital signal processing (DSP), embedded processing and serial connectivity applications. Production devices are shipping now and may be purchased online or through Xilinx distributors. Visit www.xilinx.com/virtex5 for more information.

Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions.

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