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Xilinx delivers Advanced Switching core

Posted: 24 Feb 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:xilinx? ip core? advanced switching standard? fpga? agere systems?

Programmable logic vendor Xilinx Inc. said it is ready to start selling an IP core that will run the Advanced Switching (AS) standard on its high-end FPGAs. The move is intended to give network engineers their first glimpse of how the nascent backplane interconnect standard performs in silicon.

Recently, Xilinx demonstrated how the IP core can be used to create a protocol bridge and to run an ATM software application in conjunction with Intel's network processors. The demonstrations were held at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, according to Xilinx.

Advanced Switching is a multi-point, peer-to-peer switched interconnect scheme that uses the same physical- and data-link layers as PCI Express. The AS standard was created in an attempt to standardize backplane interconnects, and has the backing of companies such as Agere Systems, Alcatel, Huawei Technologies, Intel, Siemens and Vitesse.

As an offshoot of PCI Express, AS is seen as one of the foot soldiers that will do battle with other high-speed interconnect like Rapid I/O and HyperTransport. Xilinx, for one, has discussed how AS can be used in switch fabrics linking storage processors, LAN/WAN interfaces and storage area network clusters.

AS proponents hope the core will stimulate designs around the standard, the specification for which was released last month. "The immediate availability of the Xilinx solution enables designers to start developing applications in standard ATCA as well as custom backplanes for communications equipment including access, edge and storage systems," said Rajeev Kumar, president of the Advanced Switching Interconnect Special Interest Group and Advanced Switching initiatives manager at Intel.

Xilinx's AS core is designed to run at 2.5Gbps line speeds using fast transceivers embedded in its high-end Virtex-II Pro FPGAs. The cost of licensing the core is $25,000.

- Anthony Cataldo

EE Times

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