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Xilinx FlexE and 400G Ethernet solutions for next generation networks to enable higher performance and bandwidth

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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In addition to great demos at DesignCon, Xilinx showcased Virtex® UltraScale+™ FPGAs at OFC 2019.

FlexEthernet (FlexE) is a new flexible Ethernet client interface standard defined by the OIF. FlexE specifies ways to support Ethernet MAC rates that don't correspond exactly to those in the IEEE's Ethernet specifications. FlexE supports a various Ethernet MAC rates such as 10G, 40G, and nx25G. Using FlexE enables network operators to decouple Ethernet rates on the client side from the actual physical interface via a new shim, packaging multiple Ethernet streams of 5, 10, 25 or even 100G into a higher rate interface. This enables network planners to integrate newer faster interfaces with existing interconnect and infrastructure. FlexE also allows the use of lower rate Ethernet PHYs to be used to send larger rate Ethernet MAC rates using bonding.

Xilinx showcased a 400G/s Ethernet network demonstration at OFC using FlexE bonding to send a 400G Ethernet signal over 4 x 100G Ethernet PHYs.. This was part of the Ehternet Alliance 400GbE network with interconnection between OIF and Ethernet Alliance booths, proving interoperability between Xilinx and other vendors.


Couple of highlight moments from the demonstration.

Fig1 Virtex UltraScale+ Evaluation board.png

Figure 1. Virtex UltraScale+ FPGA Evaluation Board


Fig2 400GE FlexE bridge at Ethernet Alliance booth.png

Figure 2. 400GE FlexE Bridge at Ethernet Alliance booth


As Xilinx was showing interoperability with multiple vendors, there was another demo setup with Spirent test set, which is running 3x100G FlexE at the OIF booth.Fig3 Spirent test set 3x100G FlexE.png

Figure 3. 3x100G FlexE Spirent Test Set at the OIF booth


As you can see, users can easily adjust and match the service rate to any flexible line rate via FlexE.


To learn more about Xilinx Virtex UltraScale+ FPGAs, visit