Reconfigurable Processing Profile

Gigabit Interfaces


Gigabit interfaces are those that run at line speeds of one gigabit per second and above (>1 Gbps). These interfaces are often tasked with the primary purpose of pushing large amounts of mission data to other nodes for processing.

Some examples of these interfaces include:

  • Serial RapidIO
  • SpaceFibre
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • PCI Express

The implementation of this class of communications is typically much more difficult than the megabit-class networks. Specialized transceivers are often needed to support the physical layer for these protocols. However in some cases, the FPGA may have embedded transceivers that natively support the necessary physical layer. As an example, Xilinx FPGAs include transceivers that can implement the signaling required by Serial RapidIO and PCI Express, making them an attractive combination if gigabit-level communications are needed in the system. However other factors, such as signal integrity, still necessitate more rigorous design processes when incorporating these high data rates into the system. Additional information about high-speed electronics design practices are described in the Electrical Specification.

The communication protocols implemented to provide services over a gigabit interface are described in the Communication Specification.