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8-port switch devt board has 1588 timing control

Posted: 05 Feb 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ethernet? IEEE 1588? Altera? National? MorethanIP?

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Designers of next-generation industrial control and automation systems challenged by requirements of the IEEE 1588 standard for precision clock synchronization can now accelerate their connectivity designs with the first 8-port switch development board. The board provides key features essential to end products by combining devices and intellectual property (IP) from Altera Corp., National Semiconductor Corp. and Germany-based design and IP provider MorethanIP (MTIP).

The new reference board enables rapid implementation of the IEEE 1588 standard across a range of applications demanding sub-microsecond accuracy. This level of accuracy is critical for meeting strict communications latency and QoS requirements in the industrial connectivity market. Target applications are switches employing industrial standards like Ethernet/IP, ProfiNet, Ethernet Powerlink and other Ethernet protocols.

Market potential
According to the 2005 Industrial Ethernet Worldwide Outlook by ARC Advisory Group, the industrial Ethernet switch market is estimated at 325,000 units in 2006, growing at a CAGR of 49 percent. This market is seeing a heavy adoption of IEEE 1588-based technology.

The reference board includes 10/100Mbps Ethernet MACs compliant with the IEEE 802.3 standard, as well as supporting IEEE 1588 versions 1 and 2 for timing control with transparent end-to-end (E2E) and peer-to-peer (P2P) clock sequencing. It offers high port density with low pin count, RMII interfaces and a programmable uplink. Since the board incorporates the recently announced IP core from MorethanIP for Altera Stratix II and Cyclone II FPGAs, designers can quickly update designs when the second revision of the IEEE 1588 standard is completed early this year.

"This reference board makes designing flexible switch products far easier," said Francois Balay, CEO of MorethanIP. "The boards fully conform to specifications and will provide designers with a fast start on their next products."

High-speed connectivity
The current board features Altera's Stratix II device and uses four DP83849 dual-port PHY transceivers from National Semiconductor. This high-speed industrial connectivity design features the low deterministic latency required for precise clock synchronization and offers National's patent-pending Flex-Port switching for fully integrated range extension, media conversion and hardware-based failover. National's LDO and buck regulators power the FPGAs and transceivers. Future models will use a device from Altera's low-cost Cyclone family of FPGAs.

"Ethernet switch manufacturers now have a fully integrated switch solution applying the inherent flexibility of programmable logic," said Michael Samuelian, director of Altera's industrial business unit. "We are demonstrating our commitment to the industrial market by offering a fully integrated 8-port switch with IEEE 1588 compliance, which can be easily integrated into Altera FPGAs. This board speeds development time and enables designs to adapt to changing market requirements."

The reference board is available now for $995 and includes an IP license from MorethanIP.

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