11 Sep 2017

PolarFire FPGAs now interoperate with wideband RF transceiver

Microsemi has announced its cost-optimized, low power, mid-range PolarFire field programmable gate array (FPGA) is now interoperable with Analog Devices' AD9371 wideband integrated radio frequency (RF) transceiver via a JESD204B interface.

Customers considering the AD9371—which offers dual channel transmitters and receivers, integrated synthesizers and digital signal processing functions—can utilize Microsemi’s PolarFire FPGAs to interface and interoperate with JESD204B, while utilizing lower power implementation than competing devices.

Microsemi’s PolarFire FPGAs feature a 12.7 Gbps transceiver fully optimized to be area efficient and low power, resulting in total power of less than 90 milliwatts (mWs) at 10 Gbps. Its intellectual property (IP) cores, which implement the transmitter and receiver interfaces of the JESD204B standard, are easy to integrate with JESD204B-based data converters. They support link widths from x1 to x8, and link rates from 250 Mbps to 12.5 Gbps per lane using subclass 0, 1 and 2. While PolarFire FPGAs are ideal for multiple markets, the interoperability with Analog Devices’ AD9371 RF transceiver makes the devices particularly suitable for the wireless communications, defense and industrial markets, including high bandwidth applications such as remote radio head (RRH) and active antennae, test and measurement equipment, software defined radios, massive MIMO and small cells.

“PolarFire FPGA’s transceivers and our JESD204B IP enabled us to successfully perform a loop back demonstration quickly with Analog Devices’ AD9371 transceivers, validating their compatibility for customers looking to leverage the attractive capabilities of both devices,” said Govind Krishnan, director of applications in Microsemi’s Programmable business unit. “Customers who purchase a gold or platinum Libero software license from Microsemi will also have access to our JESD204B transmit and JESD204B receive IP cores for their designs, offering ease of use for customers utilizing PolarFire with AD9371.”

Microsemi offers a reference design for customers to run the JESD204B Interface on its PolarFire Evaluation Kit using the JESD204B standalone demonstration graphical user interface (GUI) application. The reference design is built using PolarFire’s high-speed transceiver blocks and the CoreJESD204BTX and CoreJESD204BRX IP cores. The reference design and GUI application are available for Microsemi’s Libero SoC PolarFire Design Suite. All customers with a Libero gold (included with kit) or platinum license can access the JESD204B IP cores for no additional fee.

“Analog Devices’ collaboration with Microsemi on JESD204B interfaces adds to the already strong adoption of our high-performance ADCs and DACs in addition to our RF transceivers,” said Chuck Berry, director of partnerships and ecosystems, Analog Devices. “With ongoing year-over-year growth in design wins for our JESD204B products, it is critical we create an ecosystem of complementary technologies such as Microsemi’s innovative PolarFire FPGAs. The interoperability efforts completed as part of this collaboration significantly reduces risk for customers using our technologies, and broadens the multi-technology collaboration between Analog Devices and Microsemi.”

Microsemi provides a complete solution for implementing the JEDEC JESD204B, a high-speed serial interface standard for data converters which reduces the number of data inputs and outputs between high-speed data converters and receivers. Microsemi’s CoreJESD204BTX (transmitter) can be used to interface to JESD204B-compliant DAC devices and its CoreJESD204BRX (receiver) can be used to interface to JESD204B-compliant ADC devices.

Microsemi’s PolarFire FPGAs, launched in February, are designed to rethink how the industry has traditionally viewed FPGAs with mid-range densities, as the devices are the first non-volatile FPGAs providing more power and cost savings in comparison to SRAM FPGA solutions with 10G transceivers, advanced input/output (I/O), high security and digital signal processor (DSP) capabilities. The devices have embedded, high-speed transceiver blocks that can handle data rates ranging from 250 Mbps to 12.5 Gbps. The transceiver (PF_XCVR) module integrates several functional blocks to support multiple high-speed serial protocols within the FPGA.

Analog Devices collaborates with Microsemi as part of the Accelerate Ecosystem, designed to reduce time to market for end customers and time to revenue for ecosystem participants. Microsemi's Accelerate Ecosystem brings together leading silicon, intellectual property (IP), systems, software and design experts to deliver validated board and system-level solutions for end customers.

Microsemi’s PolarFire FPGAs offering interoperability with Analog Devices’ AD9371 RF transceiver are available now.

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