Arria® GX FPGAs are the most cost-effective and simple solution for designs requiring serial I/O connections at speeds up to 3.125 Gbps. In some applications, the fast FPGA fabric and digital signal processing (DSP) blocks of Arria GX FPGAs can also be used as a coprocessor to CPUs or digital signal processors.
Figure 1 shows a typical application for Arria GX FPGAs.
Figure 1. Typical Arria GX FPGA Application
Medical Office Imaging—PCI Express
The flexible I/O pins of Arria GX FPGAs allow easy connection to equipment that doesn’t natively interface to PCI Express (see Figure 2). For example, in the medical imaging market, Arria GX FPGAs can connect scanning equipment to a PC-based platform using PCI Express. You can take advantage of the fast FPGA fabric and DSP capabilities of Arria GX FPGAs to take raw data coming from an ultrasound transducer or MRI scanner and pre-format that data for easy communication to the PC-based analysis and display platform.
Figure 2. Arria GX FPGA Interfacing to Medical Office Imaging Equipment
Industrial Control—Gigabit Ethernet
Historically, industrial controllers were either untethered or connected using proprietary interfaces and protocols. The now pervasive Ethernet protocol is finding its way into manufacturing plants and industrial processes, driving industrial control companies to convert existing products to support it. Arria GX FPGAs offer these companies a simple way to support this protocol at speeds up to 1 Gbps (see Figure 3).
Figure 3. Arria GX FPGA Enabling Gigabit Ethernet with Legacy Industrial Controllers
- PLC = Programmable logic controller
SGMII = Serial gigabit medium independent interface
Wireless OFDM—Serial RapidIO
The world of wireless infrastructure is now moving from Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) to orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA), putting additional burden on channel elements. FPGAs are often the vehicle of choice for channel processing. In some cases, digital signal processors are used as the primary computing engine. However, certain functions such as forward error correction (FEC) require processing capabilities that are often outside of what digital signal processors can efficiently support. In those cases, an Arria GX device can be connected to a digital signal processor using the Serial RapidIO® (SRIO) standard to offload functions such as turbo encoding and decoding (see Figure 4).
Figure 4. Arria GX FPGA as an FEC Coprocessor in an OFDM Channel Card