Intel is shipping the latest version of its Stratix programmable chips that double the bandwidth performance of earlier versions.
It’s the industry’s first field programmable gate array (FPGA) with an integrated 58 Gb/s transceiver, said Jordon Inkeles, director of marketing, high-end products at Intel’s programmable solutions group. “Previously the fastest FPGAs on the market, from us and the competition, was 28 Gb/s or 30 Gb/s,” Inkeles said. “The new Stratix 10 TX FPGA doubles that to 58.”
The chip family targets Tier 1 telecommunications equipment and cloud providers as well as high-end enterprise data centers. It can provide up to 144 transceiver lanes with serial data rates of 1 to 58 Gb/s. And while it supports the newer PAM4 (pulse amplitude modulation with four levels) communication standard, it also supports the older NRZ (non-return to zero) modulation, meaning it is backward-compatible with existing network infrastructure.
The new technology removes bandwidth limitations for processing extremely large volumes of data, Inkeles said. Because of this, the chip can deliver high-speed connectivity for accelerating network functions virtualization (NFV), cloud, and 5G.
“What this really does is enable the next generation of infrastructure in the market place — really multi-terabyte routers and networking infrastructure all the way to the full 5G backbone,” he explained. “Without this type of technology, you could take a 5G cellphone call but you couldn’t really send it off over the backbone infrastructure.”
The FPGAs use a range of hardened intellectual property (IP) cores, including 100GE and FEC, to improve performance, latency, and power, targeting 5G fronthaul and backhaul. “You need to offer high-bandwidth, low-power in the fronthaul and massive bandwidth aggregate in the backhaul,” Inkeles said.
All of the Stratix 10 FPGAs are currently available. This includes the Stratix 10 GX FPGAs (with 28G transceivers), Stratix 10 SX FPGAs (with embedded quad-core ARM processor), Stratix 10 MX FPGAs (with HBM memory), and the Stratix 10 TX FPGAs (with 58G transceivers).