Several Tier 1 & Tier 2 Network Equipment Makers, that provide switches, routers, and packet-optical products, required an easy way to add TDM/SONET/SDH/OTN circuit emulation to their products in order to support Telecom Service Providers networks.
To fulfill this need AimValley in cooperation with OE Solutions created SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) modules to create connections via fiber optics.
These SFP modules translate the electrical signals from the switch to optical signals on the fiber. The applications mentioned require extra processing functions inside the SFP module itself, but the standard size leaves very little space for extra components.
- Build SFP modules with a large programmable FPGA inside to support additional protocol processing, to handle Ethernet and other protocols at 1 Gb/s or 10 Gb/s, along with T1, E1, DS-3, SONET, SDH, OTN, CPRI, and OAM.
- The power consumption needed to be limited and the design needed to support a temperature range of -40°C to +85°C.
- Also required was a modular approach that enabled re-use of the hardware device across multiple customer products and variants.
Standard packaged FPGA devices do not fit inside the small SFP module; so our solution is to use a bare die design. A bare die is a silicon chip without its normal package with the die itself then wire bonded or connected via flip-chip to a proprietary board, packaged and sealed to fit within the SFP module.
We developed 2 separate solutions: a bare die with wire-bonding for protocols up to 1 Gb/s, and another with flip-chip interconnect for higher bitrate protocols up to 10 Gb/s.