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Altera unveils plug & play SI tech

Posted: 18 Sep 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:linear adaptive equalisation technology  signal integrity technology  hot-socketing capability 

Altera Corp. has announced its plug-and-play signal integrity (SI) technology, a system solution that is enabled by the latest Quartus II design software and is available now in production Stratix II GX FPGAs. Plug & Play Signal Integrity redefines FPGA use in high-performance systems by enabling a single card configuration to be plugged into any designated system slot while under system power.

The SI technology is a combination of low-power linear adaptive equalisation technology—Altera's Adaptive Dispersion Compensation Engine (ADCE) —and the hot-socketing capability found in every Altera FPGA. When hot-swapping a single card configuration in a system, the ADCE automatically monitors and adjusts itself for interconnect loss and environmental variations to provide the highest system performance and data reliability available in the industry today.

"Altera continues to deliver FPGA transceiver innovation to customers by providing system designers with the only plug-and-play signal integrity capability available in an FPGA," said Louie Leung, marketing director at Altera. "Our FPGAs' ability to plug into a powered system and automatically adjust to varying system and environmental conditions allows our customers to reduce inventories, simplify maintenance procedures and shorten time to market. The ADCE itself significantly reduces the tedious characterisation effort that is the result of high-speed systems having varying link characteristics across card slots."

The SI tool provides designers and system architects with production-qualified, hot-socketable Stratix II GX FPGAs that can actively monitor and automatically compensate for signal degradation in multi-gigabit system interconnects due to manufacturing, voltage, temperature, and design variations. Altera's Plug & Play Signal Integrity solution continuously adjusts equaliser settings for each of up to 20 receivers found in the Stratix II GX FPGA family to provide the best eye opening for non-return-to-zero (NRZ) signals operating between 2.5Gbps and 6.375Gbps, significantly improving system reliability, performance, and bit error rate (BER).

Plug & Play Signal Integrity can be enabled with the customer beta release of Quartus II software version 7.2, which can be obtained from Altera's local sales representatives. The production version of Quartus II software will be available for download next month.

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