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RapidIO 10xN enhancement to support 100Gbps

Posted: 20 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RapidIO? 10xN? Serial RapidIO? interconnect protocols?

The RapidIO Trade Association has revealed a technology roadmap for Serial RapidIO 10xN. The plan will allow the protocol to accommodate serial lane speed of 10Gbps and provide support for individual port speeds beyond 100Gbps. The roadmap will also provide RapidIO clients in wireless, defense, aerospace, imaging, video and server markets with other needs that are unlikely with other interconnect protocols.

RapidIO is the embedded interconnect designed for chip-to-chip, board-to-board across backplanes and chassis-to-chassis interconnect of multiprocessor systems. It has ultra low latency and performs protocol termination in hardware while providing hardware enabled features for fault tolerant mission critical systems.

The RapidIO 10xN specification is in development and is backward compatible with the RapidIO Gen1 and Gen2 systems available in the market. Initially, the RapidIO 10xN specification will support greater than 10Gbaud per serial lane with lane widths up to x16, resulting in data rates up to 160Gbps per port. The RapidIO 10xN set of specifications will also scale to serial lane speeds of 25Gbps and beyond as there are no limitations in the logical and transport layer, thus allowing for the standard to keep in lock step with mainstream PHY technology. As key to supporting applications, there is a short-reach specification for local interconnect up to 20cm over two connectors on FR4 and a long-reach specification that will support up to one meter over two connectors on FR4. Protocol efficiency is further improved by the use of coding scheme that moves from the 25 percent overhead of 8b/10b encoding to schemes that have less than five percent encoding overhead, where details will be released with specification public release later this year.

"The launch of the new roadmap for RapidIO with the RapidIO 10xN set of specifications is in response to OEMs' significant needs for the capabilities of RapidIO to scale past 6.25Gbaud per serial lane," said Tom Cox, executive director of the RapidIO Trade Association. "The proliferation of 4G handsets is increasingly putting demand on the wireless network and OEMs need more distributed coverage in smaller form factors, with more data passing between processing elements all with low power and ultra low latency. Cloud computing demands a scalable, energy efficiency fabric within the data center, and creating scalable systems with 100Gbps connections to computing nodes, with ultra low latency to enable high volume financial transactions is key. High volume financial systems gain a competitive edge through having the lowest and most deterministic latency. Our defense and aerospace customers continue to rely on RapidIO for mission-critical systems and increased automation of unmanned vehicles. Other operational equipment is driving the need for RapidIO in these demanding real-time processing applications. RapidIO 10xN, with a path to 25xN, sets a long term roadmap to satisfy the real-world needs of all these applications."

The RapidIO 10xN standard defines a superior solution compared to what is available from other protocols. As RapidIO comes directly from the embedded industry, it does not suffer the software overhead, high latency and high processor power consumption necessary when scaling other protocols to 10Gbps per lane and beyond. With the RapidIO technology roadmap, RapidIO will continue supporting its existing customer base and will also enable the penetration of RapidIO into new markets like server and cloud computing.

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