New Fulcrum Microsystems PivotPoint device offers flexible, low-latency interconnect for multi-gigabit designs

October 18, 2004

2 Min Read

CALABASAS, Calif. -- Fulcrum Microsystems today announced the FM1020, a three-interface SPI-4.2 system interconnect switch that is the latest addition to its popular PivotPoint™ family of high-performance switches for multi-Gigabit networking and storage system designs.

The FM1020 joins the six-interface FM1010 in providing high-performance, low-latency chip-to-chip interconnect for complex, real-time data streams at speeds up to 10 Gbps and beyond. The FM1020 is ideal for maximizing the utilization of packet processing resources in high-density 10/100/1000 Ethernet I/O cards.

PivotPoint devices replace discrete daisy-chain designs and inflexible system buses, converting a fixed configuration into a soft-assignable array of computing and packet processing resources. They offer any-to-any connectivity and data “flow back” when packets must be processed multiple times by a packet-processing resource.

The new device offers full duplex SPI-4.2 speeds of up to 14.4 Gbps per interface and an internal non-blocking switching throughput of 96 Gbps – as much as three times overspeed – to reduce congestion and minimize latency.

“While PivotPoint can improve so many aspects of an Ethernet design – from flexibility to upgradeability – we feel that the latency benefits will become the crucial selling point as PivotPoint improves the configurability and modularity of the system – totally transparently and without any appreciable delay,” said Mike Zeile, vice president of marketing for Fulcrum Microsystems.

PivotPoint offers a latency of less than 250 ns due to its high performance and its asynchronous core. Latency is also reduced by the FM1020’s three-stage decoupled flow control architecture, which monitors for congestion at the egress buffer, the switch arbiter, and the ingress buffer. The fine-grain flow control eliminates buffer overflows and port starvation, providing smooth operation in even the most congested conditions.

The FM1020 features an innovative asynchronous crossbar architecture, known as Nexus®, that leverages the low-power and high-performance benefits of Fulcrum’s asynchronous technology foundation, and seamlessly marries the asynchronous core with standard synchronous interfaces (SPI-4.2, JTAG, and a generic CPU interface). This unique combination delivers unparalleled performance and power efficiency, while allowing the device to be integrated into standard synchronous board designs.

In addition to the SPI-4.2 interfaces, the FM1020 also features a configurable generic CPU interface for channel and queue configuration and status monitoring, and a standard IEEE 1149 JTAG interface for test and debug purposes.

Fulcrum Microsystems Inc.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like