Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Powers Vulcan SP HT6210 Network Interface Card

Commex Technologies Ltd., a provider of intelligent, high-performance data-routing solutions for x86 multicore systems, revealed that its Vulcan SP HT6210 Network Interface Card (NIC) has achieved data throughput of 27 Gbps. The Commex NIC accomplishes this unparalleled bandwidth by maximizing the performance of its onboard Xilinx® Virtex®-5 FPGA, and by leveraging the board’s 16-lane, 1.2Gtps HyperTransport bus interface.

Introduced in March 2009, the Vulcan SP HT6210 is the first 10GbE NIC to support the HyperTransport bus interface. This direct, high-speed connection intelligently routes data to different processor cores, reducing latency and improving multicore system performance for large enterprise and service-provider applications. Commex further boosted the board’s robustness by engineering a proprietary solution to clock-drift problems caused by process, voltage and temperature variations (PVT) that have classically led to uncorrected data sampling in other Ethernet tranceivers.

“This incredibly high FPGA data rate is not only a considerable technical achievement for Commex and Xilinx,” said Avi Ganor, Commex VP R&D, “but the most important result is how the Vulcan SP NIC delivers such substantial improvements in performance and robustness to our customers.”

“This outstanding achievement is the result of our close technological collaboration with Commex and strong technology leadership,” says Gilles Garcia, Director of Wired Communications at Xilinx. “Commex’ technology succeeded in exploiting Xilinx’s Virtex-5 FPGA capabilities to their fullest and I am sure that Commex customers’ and partners will greatly gain from this achievement on the performance and reliability of their own systems.”

HyperTransport is a high-bandwidth, packet-based interconnect technology that links processors to each other, processors to coprocessors, and processors to I/O and peripheral controllers. HyperTransport receivers sample data streams with a single-phase-delayed, source-synchronous clock to achieve high-bandwidth data transfers without requiring complex clock/data recovery schemes. However, PVT variations in circuits used to implement the HyperTransport interface can cause clock and data streams to drift in and out of phase synchronization. This condition introduces a need to resynchronize and to resample data, slowing down the interface.

With support from Xilinx and utilizing the Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA library cells, Commex has designed a runtime system-initialization sequence and technology approach that makes the Xilinx devices impervious to PVT fluctuations. This enables the Vulcan NIC to achieve its unprecedented throughput performance.

For a broad range of applications, the Commex Vulcan family of NICs, powered by the Commex Thunder controller, delivers performance significantly better than that of competing 10GbE NICs (benchmark results available upon request). Such performance is highly desirable for server applications including: network monitoring, application delivery, IT security, bandwidth management, web caching, database, virtualization, cloud computing and storage, financial services, and rich-media streaming.

The Commex Vulcan family of NICs is available to customers worldwide.

About Commex Technologies
Commex Technologies Ltd. is a fabless chip company dedicated to providing intelligent, high-performance solutions for x86 multicore systems. Commex develops and sells in-server content-aware solutions, including the Vulcan family of 10GbE smart Network Interface Cards (NICs), powered by the Commex Thunder network controller. The company’s innovative patent-pending technology leverages on-chip classification and action engines, to deliver multicore-scalable performance to server OEMs and system designers.