Electronic Design

Serial Interconnect Standard Expands RapidIO

Suited to DSP farms and backplanes, the RapidIO Trade Association's new specification defines a high-performance, low-pin-count switch-fabric serial interconnect.

The Serial RapidIO specification adds a new physical layer to existing RapidIO technology. It exploits signaling technology found in X3T Fibre Channel, 802.3 XAUI Ethernet, and InfiniBand, yet offers a low-power transmission mode not found in other standards. Also, it supports reliability features such as hardware error detection and recovery (see the table).

Operating at 1.25, 2.5, and 3.125 Gbaud, Serial RapidIO defines a single differential link in each direction between devices. For higher throughput, four links may be "ganged" together. The specification also provides for connection of parallel and serial RapidIO devices through switches without special bridging functions. The serial specification lets chip developers reuse much of their existing RapidIO parallel interface designs. And, it preserves upper-layer specifications.

Serial RapidIO will be accessible to the general public by year's end. E-mail [email protected], or see www.RapidIO.org.

TAGS: Digital ICs
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