September 15, 2008

Altera Devices Offer Full Support of XAUI Protocol With 10-Gigabit Ethernet Reference Design

Addressing the demands of broadband networking and telecommunication applications, Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) today announced the availability of a 10-gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) reference design targeting designers using the XAUI communications protocol. Line cards and system controllers used within network routers, enterprise and metro Ethernet switches, and storage switches can leverage Altera's Arria(R) and Stratix(R) series of FPGAs to connect reliably to 10GbE backplanes or networks. Altera's 10GbE solution is IEEE 802.3ae standard compliant and successfully passed the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL) 10GbE tests.

"Performing testing at the UNH-IOL helps to ensure interoperability with other 10GbE devices and equipment," said Jeff Lapak, 10-gigabit Ethernet consortium manager, UNH-IOL. "We worked closely with Altera to test the Stratix II GX FPGAs and their conformance to the standard as well as their interoperability with existing 10-Gbps Ethernet devices."

Altera's 10GbE reference design is a highly reliable and flexible solution, providing all MAC, PCS and PMA functions. In addition to being compliant to the IEEE 802.3ae 10GbE standard, Stratix II GX FPGAs successfully passed all the pertinent UNH 10GbE hardware tests, including Clauses 4 (MAC), 31 (Flow Control), 46 (RS), 47 (XAUI), 48 (10GBASE-X PCS), Clause 54 (CX4), XAUI interoperability tests, and optical module interoperability tests with various optical X2 modules. The reference design was verified in simulation and hardware tested in Altera's PCI Express Development Kit, Stratix II GX Edition with industry-standard 10GbE test equipment and CX4 and X2 adapters.

Altera's 10GbE Solution

Altera's 10GbE reference design consists of an encrypted design library, detailed 10GbE application note, simulation test bench with test cases, and user configuration GUI software. The reference design allows designers to quickly implement Altera's Arria GX, Stratix II GX, Stratix III and Stratix IV GX FPGAs into a multi-10GbE system. The introduction of Altera's 40-nm Stratix IV GX devices enable designers to implement much larger and higher density 10GbE designs with unprecedented FPGA integration levels. Synthesis options within the reference design include:

-- Transmit and receive FIFO of selectable lengths at the MAC-to-system interface for optimizing the size of the core and low-latency design

-- Statistics counters supporting RMON (RGC 2819) Ethernet type MIB (RFC 3635) and interface group MIB (RFC 2863)

-- MDIO management interface for external PHY devices

"The 10GbE market is growing rapidly in all network areas, including enterprise, data center, metro and long haul with ever-increasing demands for broadband applications," said David Greenfield, senior director of product marketing, high-end products at Altera. "Our standard-compliant and tested 10GbE solution provides customers the peace of mind that Altera's solution will work seamlessly with other 10GbE equipment."


Altera offers a number of reference designs that show efficient solutions for common design problems. To see a list of Altera's reference designs or to find more information regarding its 10GbE reference design visit

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