Why this is important
It's nifty for 100Gbit/s networking, because 25Gbit/s electronics (more properly 28Gbit/s, when Forward Error Correction (FEC) and other overhead is added) will lead to smaller and lower-power devices than 10Gbit/s electronics allow. But it's also crucial for the next step beyond 100Gbit/s, whether that's 400Gbit/s or 1Tbit/s. Xilinx says Virtex-7 has the room for all the trappings of 400Gbit/s Ethernet -- media access controllers (MACs), Interlaken interfaces, and the like.
There's a competitive angle, too. FPGA rival Altera Corp. (Nasdaq: ALTR) announced in April that it would have 28Gbit/s transceivers on its FPGAs, and the company demonstrated them at Milcom, a military-technology show, early this month.
Here's some further reading about high-end FPGAs and speeds beyond 100 Gbit/s.
- Altera Unveils 28nm Stratex V
- Startup Applies Spacetime to FPGAs
- Xilinx Ships Huge FPGA
- The Terabit Ethernet Chase Begins
- EENY 2010: 100G Complaints Continue
- EENY 2010: Carrier Wants Cheap 100GigE Now Please
- EENY 2010: Broadcom Debuts 100G Switch
- Google Loosens Up on Data Center Optics
- 100G Watch: Google Complains Again
- 100G Watch: 40G Strikes Back
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading