NXP Semiconductors achieves high speed converter interoperability with FPGAs from Altera and Xilinx

Winchester, UK – NXP Semiconductors has announced that its CGV series of JESD204A-compliant data converters are now interoperable with FPGAs from Altera and Xilinx.

The three companies believe the interoperability breakthrough will pave the way to eliminating many of the risks and costs associated with project schedules when developing equipment utilizing JESD204A-compliant converters and FPGAs.

Assured interoperability and interworking between programmable logic devices and high-speed converters is a critical acceptance criterion for equipment designers working with JESD204A-compliant converters.

NXP has revealed that its CGV series of JESD204A-compliant data converters are now interoperable with Altera Corporation's Stratix IV GX and Arria II GX FPGA families, and will also be interoperable in the future with the Cyclone IV GX FPGA family.

At the same time NXP has also declared that the CGV series of JESD204A-compliant data converters are now also interoperable with Xilinx high performance Virtex-6 FPGAs and low-cost Spartan-6 FPGA families.

The new JESD204A-compliant converters from NXP are suitable for cellular base stations and other wireless communication infrastructure equipment, as well as medical, instrumentation and military/aerospace applications.

NXP will be offering ADC and DAC evaluation boards that include the Altera HSMC interface for easy connection to Altera FPGA evaluation boards allowing rapid demonstration of device interoperability. The NXP and Altera evaluation boards are available to qualified OEMs worldwide. NXP's JESD204A ADC evaluation board based on the ADC1413D is to be previewed during the Mobile World Congress 2010 show in Barcelona, Spain, February 15-18.

“Altera is looking forward to participating in equipment design developments with NXP's CGV data converters, where the design engineer will be assured of seamless interoperability with our industry-leading FPGA families including Stratix IV GX, Arria II GX and Cyclone IV GX with integrated transceivers”, said Arun Iyengar, senior director of Altera's communications and broadcast business units. “This combination of NXP's JESD204A-compliant data converters and Altera's FPGAs will provide designers of wireless base stations and remote radio heads a high degree of flexibility and scalability, while enabling ease-of-use and cost reduction”.

NXP has also developed dedicated CGV ADC and DAC interoperability demo and high performance data acquisition reference design / evaluation boards based on Xilinx's Virtex FPGAs which are available to customers immediately. NXP also offers CGV ADC and DAC demo boards with the FMC interconnect interface for use with Virtex-6 FPGA and Spartan-6 FPGA-based evaluation boards. NXP first publically demonstrated JESD204A CGV data converters interworking with Virtex FPGAs in June 2009 at the IEEE MTT 2009 International Microwave Symposium in Boston.

“Through strong collaboration with NXP, we are able to deliver seamless interoperability between our latest FPGA families and NXP's data converters”, said Manuel Uhm, director of wireless communications at Xilinx. “Available Xilinx FPGA-based JESD204A reference designs ease the transition from IO limited parallel LVDS based data converters to Serdes-based multi-module high performance data converters while reducing board complexity and system cost.”

CGV (Convertisseur Grande Vitesse) designates NXP's compliant, superset implementation of the JEDEC JESD204A interface standard, with enhanced rate (4.0 Gbps typical), enhanced reach (100 cm typical), enhanced features (multiple DAC synchronization) and assured FPGA interoperability.

NXP is also now offering enhancements in terms of transceiver rate (up to 4.0 Gbps versus the standard rate of 3.125 Gbps, a 28 percent increase), and transmitter reach (up to 100 cm versus the standard reach of 20 cm, a 400 percent increase). The enhanced CGV features include Multi Device Synchronization (MDS) for the DAC1408D series of D/A Converters, which is not specified, but informatively discussed in the JEDEC specification. NXP has implemented the optional feature to enable LTE MIMO base station and other advanced multi-channel applications. NXP's implementation of MDS enables up to sixteen DACs data streams to be sample synchronized and phase coherent.

Altera FPGAs

The 40-nm Stratix IV GX FPGA family offers the industry's most advanced FPGAs with unprecedented densities, performance, and system bandwidth, all at the lowest power for high-end FPGAs. Targeting customers in a variety of markets, including communications, broadcast, test, medical and military, Stratix IV GX FPGAs enables designers to achieve new levels of integration and innovation.

The 40-nm Arria II GX FPGA family with integrated transceivers, are the ideal devices for 3-Gbps transceiver applications requiring low-cost FPGAs with high-end capabilities. The family of devices claims to offer 25 percent higher performance, up to 50 percent lower price and up to 50 percent lower power, compared to competitive high-end FPGAs. Arria II GX FPGAs are targeted for applications using mainstream protocols such as CPRI, PCIe and GbE.

The Cyclone IV GX FPGA family with integrated transceivers claims to provide the market's lowest cost, lowest power FPGAs. Ideal for high-volume, cost-sensitive applications, Cyclone IV GX FPGAs enable system designers to respond to increased low-cost bandwidth needs driven by the demand for mobile video, voice, and data access, and the hunger for high-quality 3D images.

Xilinx FPGAs

Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGAs provide the programmable silicon foundation for Xilinx Base-level, Domain-specific, and Market-specific Targeted Design Platforms that enable designers to accelerate innovation and improve differentiation across a wide range of markets and applications. Built for high-performance, compute-intensive applications, Virtex-6 FPGAs deliver over 1 Tbps of digital signal processing bandwidth and more than 11 Gbps of serial connectivity that is fully scalable and optimized to reduce overall system power consumption. Spartan-6 FPGAs offer an optimal balance of cost, power, and performance that for the first time brings low power and ubiquitous high-speed connectivity to price-sensitive, high-volume markets.


NXP CGV evaluation boards are available to qualified OEMs worldwide.

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