Xilinx just announced availability of new Virtex-7 H580T FPGA, which they describe as “The world’s first 3D heterogeneous all programmable product.”
Virtex-7 HT devices use Xilinx’s stacked silicon interconnect (SSI) technology to deliver the industry’s highest bandwidth FPGAs, featuring up to sixteen 28 Gbps and seventy-two 13.1 Gbps transceivers, making them the only single-chip solutions for addressing key Nx100G and 400G line card applications and functions. Combined with Xilinx’s leading 100G gearbox, Ethernet MAC, OTN and Interlaken IP, Virtex-7 HT devices provide customers with the levels of system integration they need to meet space, power and cost challenges as they transition to CFP2 optical modules.
Usually we tend to think about FPGA as a monolithic device, i.e. a chip packaged in a single FPGA die. Then, in 2011, Xilinx announced the first shipments of its Virtex-7 2000T FPGA. This involves four FPGA dice being mounted on a silicon interposer, which supports tremendous numbers of silicon-speed connections.
The end result is that the Virtex-7 2000T is currently the world’s highest-capacity All Programmable Device (APD), containing 6.8 billion transistors and providing designers with access to 2 million logic cells. This is equivalent to 20 million ASIC gates, which makes these devices ideal for system integration, ASIC prototyping and emulation, and even ASIC replacement. The Virtex-7 2000T is homogeneous in nature, which means that all four FPGA dice are identical. By comparison, the Virtex-7 H580T is heterogeneous, because it comprises 2X FPGA dice and 1X 8-channel 28Gbps transceiver die in the same package.
Using SSI technology enables Xilinx to deliver not only high-capacity devices built on TSMC’s 28nm high performance/low power process, but also an unprecedented number of transceivers for unmatched system performance. Competing monolithic FPGAs are able to integrate only a fourth of the number of 28 Gbps channels. The heterogeneous implementation of Virtex-7 HT devices also enables Xilinx to make independent technology choices for the core FPGA and 28 Gbps transceiver die, which avoids burdening the FPGA with high leakage transistors that waste system power and bring no benefit to computation tasks. Having 28 Gbps transceivers on silicon separate from the core FPGA fabric further allows for superior noise isolation, enabling best overall signal integrity and system margin, as well as improved productivity for design closure and faster time to market.
We were impressed by the low transmit jitter of the Virtex-7 H580T device’s 28 Gbps transceivers and also by how quickly we were able to bring up a functioning link when combined with Luxtera’s 4×28 Gbps single chip silicon photonic transceiver,” said Chris Bergey, Vice President of Marketing at silicon photonics leader Luxtera Inc. “Xilinx has clearly hit an industry milestone with this device because it allows makers of networking systems to easily overcome the challenges they face to enable more bandwidth.
Effectively upgrading networks to handle exponential growth in data usage is critical to the communications industry. This requires power and port density improvements in optical modules while reducing cost per bit. Driven by the migration to CFP2 and, in the future, CFP4 optical modules, Virtex-7 HT devices enable unprecedented integration capability for communication equipment vendors designing Nx100G and 400G line cards.
Virtex-7 HT devices with their 28 Gbps transceivers allow support for up to four IEEE 100GE gearboxes in a single device with the option of integrating advanced debug capabilities, OTN, MAC or Interlaken IP within the same FPGA, eliminating the need for separate gearbox and ASSP devices. The upcoming Virtex-7 H870T device is also 400GE ready and will be able to support future 400GE modules that require16x25 Gbps interfaces. The result is reduced overall power and BOM cost and a more flexible solution in the midst of changing protocols.
In Xilinx’s newest 28 Gbps technology video (above), a Virtex-7 H580T device demonstrates its abilities to deliver the eye and jitter characteristics needed to reach the performance required to interface to CFP2 optic modules. New white papers, videos and more can be found on Xilinx’s 28 Gbps Serial Transceiver Technology page.
[Source: Xilinx, EEtimes]