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Xilinx shatters 2.4 terabit PICMG 3.0 bandwidth barrier by demoing 10Gbps serial signaling over ATCA backplane.

Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq:XLNX) has announced the demonstration of the world's first 10Gbps AdvancedTCA ("ATCA") backplane powered by its flagship Virtex-II Pro(TM) X FPGAs. This establishes a four-fold performance boost for the existing ATCA serial backplane architecture based on the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) 3.0 specification. Xilinx is taking an industry leadership role in demonstrating 10Gbps over an ATCA backplane through a combination of standard devices and off-the-shelf serial connectivity technologies. This approach validates that designers can rapidly build fully scalable systems to 10Gbps while significantly reducing development costs and improving the capabilities of bandwidth-intensive telecom, datacom, compute and storage applications.

"Developing backplanes based on high performance, open standards such as ATCA achieves the cost savings objective important to top tier telecom OEMs," said Eric Mantion, senior analyst at In-Stat/MDR. "Xilinx's demonstration at 10Gbps is an important milestone that not only demonstrates the scalability of the platform, but changes the cost equation in regards to the total bandwidth that can be supported on a low cost platform."

"Xilinx is proud to be the first to advance ATCA backplane performance to 10Gbps, and is doing so using conventional NRZ signaling technology," said Rich Sevcik, executive vice president at Xilinx. "Demonstrating 10Gbps serial signaling on a low-cost industry standard platform is a both a testament to feasibility of NRZ signaling at these frequencies and the performance and robustness of our silicon."

SUPERCOMM 2004 is the fourth in a series of high-speed serial backplane demonstrations by Xilinx this year targeting the rapidly growing design activity at 5 to 10Gbps. Jointly developed with Kaparel, this new 10Gbps implementation utilizes their Full Mesh, 16-slot ATCA-compliant backplane. By virtue of pin compatibility from Xilinx's Virtex-II Pro to Virtex-II Pro X devices, it is possible to design systems scaling from 2.5Gbps to 10Gbps using an ATCA platform with no incremental investment. As a result, networking companies can design-in field upgrades to double and quadruple system performance across multiple generations of their products.

"Many in the industry felt that 10Gbps was impossible for the ATCA backplane standard," said Tom Sutherland, general manager at Kaparel. "This demonstration of the Kaparel ATCA Backplane with Xilinx's industry-leading FPGAs proves that this next-generation systems platform is achievable with off-the-shelf backplane and silicon technologies. This is a significant step forward in the evolution for ATCA standards and product development initiatives. It provides systems designers with a better alternative to new niche or proprietary approaches."

"AdvancedTCA, due to its very high performance-to-cost ratio, certainly has the potential to be the disruptive technology that will change the way system architects think about backplanes," said Ernie Bergstrom, principal analyst at Crystal Cube Consulting. "The Xilinx demonstration, by virtue of giving ATCA a performance boost, clearly shows that designers today can use the standards-based modular platform to build backplanes that are on par with custom backplane performance."

In a related announcement, Xilinx bolstered its 10Gbps solutions for serial backplanes by extending its Aurora lightweight link-layer protocol to enable custom data transport up to 10Gbps. Additionally, Xilinx introduced a new Fibre Channel (FC) media access controller (MAC) solution. With this addition, Xilinx now supports all major PICMG 3.0 data transport protocols. These announcements further reinforce Xilinx's industry leadership position, as illustrated through its ongoing Serial Tsunami initiative, which has resulted in Xilinx's Virtex II Pro series FPGAs becoming the industry's leader in high-speed serial backplane solutions.

The Xilinx Serial Tsunami initiative accelerates the industry shift from parallel to serial I/O signaling technologies with next-generation connectivity solutions that support line rates from 622Mbps to 10Gbps and beyond. Xilinx's high performance Virtex-II Pro series of FPGAs deliver advanced features, including IBM PowerPC(TM) processors immersed into the industry's leading FPGA fabric, multi-gigabit RocketIO(TM) serial transceivers, and cutting-edge embedded design tools, combined with a suite of intellectual property cores. This comprehensive solution addresses the broad range of connectivity requirements across the entire line to the backplane.

The new backplane and I/O capabilities build upon Xilinx's AdvancedTCA(TM) Development Platform first introduced in February 2004. The development platform includes an ATCA-compliant reference board and IP cores that now support all major data transport protocols, including Gigabit Ethernet, Advanced Switching, InfiniBand, PCI Express, and RapidIO. Today's announcement strengthens this position as the preferred option for ATCA-based product designs, a market that has the potential of generating in excess of $20 billion by the end of 2007 *.

The ATCA (Advanced Telecom and Compute Architecture) platform standard was developed through the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group to address the requirements of next-generation applications that could not be served by the CompactPCI standard or proprietary solutions. The prime objectives of the ATCA are to provide the broad benefits of a standardized, yet scalable platform to addresses the key challenges of the next generation systems with sufficient flexibility to be used across a broad class of applications without imposing constraints that might impact product differentiation.
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Title Annotation:Advanced Telecom and Compute Architecture
Comment:Xilinx shatters 2.4 terabit PICMG 3.0 bandwidth barrier by demoing 10Gbps serial signaling over ATCA backplane.(Advanced Telecom and Compute Architecture)
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 28, 2004
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