Microsemi Corp. has integrated Tamba Networks’ Ethernet media access controller (MAC) in Microsemi’s PolarFire field programmable gate array (FPGA) to offer a low power FPGA-based 10G Ethernet solution.

Microsemi used the Tamba Networks' Interlaken and 10G/40G Ethernet MAC soft cores as key building blocks to evaluate and enhance PolarFire FPGAs’ fabric architecture with 10G and 40G datapaths running at 160MHz and 320MHz. These cores offer low gate count and latency with high flexibility. When combined with Microsemi’s low power fabric and low power transceiver, Tamba Networks’ 10G Ethernet soft core lowers the power of a 10G datapath by 50%, the companies claimed. The device is also available as a direct core from Microsemi’s IP library.

PolarFire FPGAs target several additional applications in the communications market, including access network, network edge, metro (1-40G); mobile infrastructure, wireless backhaul, smart optical modules and video broadcasting. The devices are also well suited for applications within the defense and aerospace market, such as encryption and root of trust, secure wireless communications, radar and electronic warfare (EW), aircraft networking, actuation and control. Microsemi said the FPGAs are well suited to requirements of the industrial market, including use in process control and automation, machine vision processing and analytics, programmable logic controllers, industrial networking and video and image processing.

Early partnership with Tamba

Tamba Networks was deeply involved in the development of the PolarFire transceiver’s physical coding sublayer (PCS), providing the 64b66b/64b67b encoding modules used for Ethernet and Interlaken. The company helped Microsemi modify the 64b66b encoder to operate with deterministic latency, ensuring support for Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) options 7b, 8 and 9.

Microsemi said the PolarFire FPGAs are a rethink on how the industry has traditionally viewed FPGAs. The companies claim that the devices are non-volatile FPGAs providing more power and cost savings compared to SRAM FPGA solutions with 10G transceivers, advanced I/O, high security and digital signal processor (DSP) capabilities. Microsemi also sells Ethernet switches and PHYs that add switching functionality and/or MAC-layer security (MACsec) encryption with nanosecond IEEE1588 time stamping capabilities to PolarFire designs.

Microsemi’s PolarFire FPGAs with Tamba Networks’ Ethernet MAC are available now.