Altera demonstrates first FPGAs to interoperate with 100-Gbps optical module

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - February 23, 2012

Stratix V GT devices—the industry’s only PGAs with 28-Gbps transceiver technology— enable next-generation 100-Gbps networks

Altera Corporation has said it has successfully demonstrated interoperability with a 100-Gbps optical module using its 28-nm Stratix V GT FPGAs. This is the first time an FPGA has demonstrated interoperability with a 100-Gbps optical module, and this follows the company's announcement in September 2011 when Gennum and Altera demonstrate 4x25Gb/s ICs for next-generation 100Gb/s networks. Combined, both solutions enhance the company’s optical module offerings and pave the way for the industry’s adoption of 28 Gbps.

The demonstration will be showcased at the Optical Fiber Conference in the Los Angeles Convention Center from March 6 to 8, 2012, in the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) multi-vendor booth 713. The demonstration tests 28-Gbps transmission technology over 2 km of single-mode (SM) fibre, utilizing Molex’s zQSFP+ Interconnect System.

The demonstration  includes four channels of PRBS31 data generating within the Altera’s Stratix V FPGA, which is tailored to support the most bandwidth-intensive communications systems. The data is then transmitted over a Gennum VSR host channel with 12 dB of insertion loss, through a Molex zQSFP+ connector to Gennum clock and data recovery (CDR) integrated circuits. The retimed outputs of the CDRs are transmitted to the Molex 1490-nm Optical Module, which loops the optical data back to its receiver through 2 km of SM fibre. In the receive direction, the data flows in the reverse order through the cascaded blocks ending at the FPGA.

With Internet traffic expected to multiply, much more bandwidth is needed, driving the need for large-scale network-upgrades. Altera’s Stratix V GT devices are designed to support 25- to 28-Gbps data streams for next-generation 100-Gbps pluggable fiber-optic modules, line cards and direct-attach copper cables using the 25G-QSFP+ and CFP2 form factors.

Featuring 28-Gbps integrated transceivers, Stratix V FPGAs deliver the highest system bandwidth at the lowest power consumption, under 200 mW per channel at 28 Gbps. Stratix V FPGAs support backplane, optical module and chip-to-chip applications through 28-Gbps transceivers, and up to 66 full-duplex 14.1-Gbps transceivers.

For more information on the devices, visit and for a video entitled 'Sneak Peek: Industry’s first 28-Gbps FPGA,' go to

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