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Voyager
Voyager
8,349 Views
Registered: ‎10-25-2012

The feasibility of Aurora for FPGAs data communication through cable.

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Recently I am investigating Aurora to see whether it is suitable for our implementation.

 

We want to achieve a high-speed communication between two FPGA. However, the problem is these two FPGAs will not be on the same PCB. They will be on two different PCBs and the distance between them will be 3 metres. Therefore, the cable connection between them are necessary. I just whether Aurora can be used to achieve FPGA data communcation through cable? If Aurora is not a good decision, anyother interface is suitable for this implementation?  Hope anyone who has experience about this can give some advices. 

 

 

Thanks advance!

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Explorer
Explorer
10,433 Views
Registered: ‎05-12-2011

If you're connecting two of your own boards together, you can run any protocol you want over any connector and cable you want, as long as the connectors and cables will support the speeds and number of signals you need.  You could use QSFP+ connectors and run a SATA protocol across them, or you could run Ethernet over SATA connectors and cables, it's entirely up to you (and the signal integrity).  You can invent your very own protocol using as many MGT lanes as you want with as much or as little control, CRC checking or whatever and then pick a connector/cable and just go for it.  At some point, it's just bits on a wire, and it's what you do with those bits on each end of the wire that matters (I suppose it could be photons on a fiber, too).

 

The only reason you would care about "standard" connectors to match up with "standard" protocols, is if you have to connect up to other people's hardware using one of those existing standards.  The rigid standards exist so you can connect company A's product to Company B's product and be reasonably assured that everything will work together.  But if you're just using your boards in-house and need something to hook them together, you are both company A and company B so as long as your product works with your product, you can mix and match parts of any standards that you want.  If you expect customers to plug in with an Infiniband cable to talk to your products though, then you had better stick to the Infiniband standard or it's not going to work out well.

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Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
8,340 Views
Registered: ‎01-03-2008
The deciding factor in this working or not will be the signal loss in the PCB, connectors and cables and he ability of the FPGA MGT to be able to compensate for these losses with transmitter pre- or post-emphasis and higher voltage swings and receiver equalization. The more capabilities that are available the higher the probability of success. The Xilinx ChipScope IBERT functionality can be used to optimize the settings.

The protocol that is run across the link has little to no impact on the bit error rate.
------Have you tried typing your question into Google? If not you should before posting.
Too many results? Try adding site:www.xilinx.com
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Voyager
Voyager
8,328 Views
Registered: ‎10-25-2012
Thanks. So I understand what you try to tell me is: Aurora can be used. But Aurora protocal is not fixed to a type connector and cable. We can decide the connector and cable based on the our demands, right?

However, there is another thing which confused me. For some protocol, such as PCIe, SATA, they seem to have specific connector and cable, why? Or whether we can make customized connector and cable for PCIe and SATA?

Thanks very much.
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Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
8,321 Views
Registered: ‎01-03-2008

The Aurora protocol does not specify a connector type, so anything can be used. The typical connection is chip-to-chip on the same PCB or across a backplane.  You have another thread open on industry standard protocols and connectors so that discussions should stay there.

------Have you tried typing your question into Google? If not you should before posting.
Too many results? Try adding site:www.xilinx.com
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Voyager
Voyager
8,319 Views
Registered: ‎10-25-2012
Thanks very much. No, I don't think I have another thread open in industry standard protocols and connectors. I opened that thread in there before but I found nobody reply me there. Therefore I decide to move the thread here since it seems much more people will view thread here.

You mentioned "The Aurora protocol does not specify a connector type". Therefore I can use e.g. SATA port and cable to connect two FPGAs in two PCB. But I need consider the ability of port and cable to compensate for losses with transmitter, as you mentioned before, right?

Thanks very much.
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Explorer
Explorer
10,434 Views
Registered: ‎05-12-2011

If you're connecting two of your own boards together, you can run any protocol you want over any connector and cable you want, as long as the connectors and cables will support the speeds and number of signals you need.  You could use QSFP+ connectors and run a SATA protocol across them, or you could run Ethernet over SATA connectors and cables, it's entirely up to you (and the signal integrity).  You can invent your very own protocol using as many MGT lanes as you want with as much or as little control, CRC checking or whatever and then pick a connector/cable and just go for it.  At some point, it's just bits on a wire, and it's what you do with those bits on each end of the wire that matters (I suppose it could be photons on a fiber, too).

 

The only reason you would care about "standard" connectors to match up with "standard" protocols, is if you have to connect up to other people's hardware using one of those existing standards.  The rigid standards exist so you can connect company A's product to Company B's product and be reasonably assured that everything will work together.  But if you're just using your boards in-house and need something to hook them together, you are both company A and company B so as long as your product works with your product, you can mix and match parts of any standards that you want.  If you expect customers to plug in with an Infiniband cable to talk to your products though, then you had better stick to the Infiniband standard or it's not going to work out well.

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Voyager
Voyager
8,304 Views
Registered: ‎10-25-2012
Thanks very much. Your explanation make me sense. Therefore, I need to decide a suitable connector considering 3 metres' range.

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Anonymous
Not applicable
6,603 Views

Hey

 

I am trying to use the Aurora core in my design. I am in my learning stage now. Would like some help. I am not able to understand how to use this module with my design.

 

The coregen generates the IP core along with the example design. If i make any modification in the frame generator module I get errors in simulation. Please help me understand so that i can send my user data without errors. Direct me to some application note where such modification is explained. 

 

Thanks 

Saurabh Agrawal

saurabh[dot]agrawal3[at]gmail[dot]com

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Visitor
Visitor
508 Views
Registered: ‎03-24-2020

Dear Sir,

 

I also have the same question, as for so many high speed protocols, such like usb3.0, hdmi2.0 or DP1.2/1.4, we can use USB3.0 ,hdmi2.0 ,DP1.2/DP1.4 redriver or retimer to compensate all trace loss,including connectors and cables length.

So, Which redriver ic is suitable for xilinx aurora 64b/128b communication?

 

Thanks.

 

David 

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Adventurer
Adventurer
342 Views
Registered: ‎09-06-2016

I also have this question.  I'm told it can be done, but I'm not sure what problems one will run into.  It appears that no one who has responded has ever done this since the feedback so far has been general.

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