ATCA Newsletter

RapidIO 10xN Means Higher Speeds for AdvancedTCA Systems

By Devashish Paul, IDT

Pushing the boundaries of performance for peer to peer embedded processing for the wireless, server, imaging, medical, industrial, defense and aerospace markets, the RapidIO Trade Association announced its roadmap beyond Gen2 in July 2011. The new specification is called S-RIO 10xN. The AdvancedTCA ecosystem can expect another infusion of performance from the switching and semiconductor ecosystem that has driven the wireless basestation market to date. Several semiconductor vendors are ready now with roadmaps and pre standards development efforts.

S-RIO 10xN currently provides 10 Gbps per serial lane. In fact, it will actually scale to speeds up to 25 Gbps per lanein the next standards revision. In x4 configuration, this means 40 Gbps per port now and 100 Gbps per port soon. The full version 3.0 of the specification is expected to be publicly available in Q2 of 2012. RapidIO TA members can actively participate in the review and balloting process and get early visibility into new features to get a jump on silicon and system development. The RapidIOTA is also working on a bus functional model to support the new standard to aid the industry with silicon development. Several other new features are being added and are available in advance of public release to member companies.

With mobile networks facing overload issues everywhere, the race to higher speeds is on. Many OEMs who are invested in RapidIO for high performance with LTE Enhanced will want to leverage  S-RIO 10xN’s peer to peer benefits, scalability, low latency, and higher throughput. Many silicon vendors plan to show their S-RIO 10xN roadmap offerings which will service these markets. The AdvancedTCA ecosystem solution providers (ATCA, AMC, MicroTCA) are all actively working with key semiconductor vendors on 40 Gbps per port solutions with RapidIO.

What does this mean to the industry? First of all, RapidIO continues to flourish. With the entire 4G basestation market connected with RapidIO enabled silicon, there is increasing industry pressure to deliver the next node. 4G users expect to use data-intensive services such as video-on-demand from their handheld devices and have everything synchronized through the cloud immediately with their desktops as needed. With more users per basestation and ever increasing data rates, systems must provide extremely fast connections among DSPs, processors, and FPGA/ASICs on board, between boards via connectors, and between chassis via cable. So far, RapidIO has led the way in 3.5G and 4G solutions with 20 Gbps ports. The move to 40Gbps is a natural one that leading manufacturers have long anticipated. The AdvancedTCA ecosystem will reap the benefits of S-RIO moving to the 10xN node and delivering the performance needed by fast-growing mobile networks around the world.

Devashish Paul is Senior Product Manager at IDT. You can reach him at devashish.paul@idt.com.