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RapidIO evaluation platform cuts time-to-market, BOM

Posted: 30 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RapidIo switch? evaluation platform? processors?

Tundra Semiconductor Corp. has released an evaluation platform centered on its Tsi620 multi-standard RapidIO switch. The multi-platform evaluation platform uses Texas Instruments TMS320TCI6487 multicore DSP and an Altera Stratix III FPGA to enable prototyping and cost reduction in applications such as high performance wireless and video processing, medical imaging and military signal-processing solutions.

The platform allows customers to use the RapidIO protocol for DSP or processor aggregation, while leveraging the Tsi620's hardware bridging to low cost PCI-enabled processors. The platform offers communication with a variety of cost competitive PCI-enabled microprocessors through a PMC connector, providing additional cost saving opportunities. TI's 3GHz embedded DSP delivers in computationally challenging applications. On the evaluation platform, the Tsi620 interfaces with Altera's Stratix III FPGA to leverage RapidIO over XGMII. This results in low latency while leveraging the RapidIO protocol and allows customers to access RapidIO processor clusters from an FPGA without Serdes. The complete solution allows customers to reduce their time-to-market, and the BOM in end applications by over $100 compared to other solutions.

System OEMs can leverage the flexibility of the platform as a standalone evaluation board or in a MicroTCA chassis where RapidIO is running across the backplane. Designers can go to market faster using the production-ready tool, to speed development and testing of application software and firmware.

"The Tsi620 evaluation platform leverages proven interoperability between Tundra switches and TI's high performance TCI6487 DSP," said Sandeep Kumar, business manager for growth infrastructure markets at TI. "TI's high performance application customers will benefit from the cost savings and acceleration to market offered by this combination."

"The Tsi620 multi-standard switch offers our customers the option of bringing RapidIO features to their high volume designs, that also use PCI peripherals and non Serdes based FPGAs," said Tracy Richardson, VP marketing, Tundra.

"Altera is the first FPGA supplier to support RapidIO over XGMII, which is used by the Tundra Tsi620's FPGA interface port. This support brings the features of RapidIO to our non Serdes based FPGAs, and gives our customers an option to achieve latency advantages without the overhead of a Serdes for short reach RapidIO link applications," said David Greenfield, senior director of product marketing, high-end products at Altera.

Tsi620 Evaluation platform features

  • AMC width board usable in MicroTCA or in standalone mode
  • Tsi620 multi protocol switch
  • TI TCI6487 DSP
  • Altera Stratix III FPGA running RapidIO over XGMII to Tsi620
  • Antenna interface to FPGA and DSP
  • RapidIO 2x1 from Tsi620 to TCI6487
  • RapidIO x4 to backplane and AMC finger connector
  • Hardware bridging to PCI, PCI interface exposed to PMC connector
  • DSP cluster extendable via backplane RapidIO
  • Ethernet connectivity to FPGA and DSP available through RJ45 connector.

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