What’s that? There’s a new movie out? What’s it called? Avengers? Who are they? What do they do?
I highly doubt anyone – except someone’s grandmother – has said the above. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has been taking the world by storm. For superhero fanboys like yours truly, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is the dream movie worth waiting for.
In a similar way, the VITA 57 FMC and FMC+ specifications are the dream interface between FPGAs carrier cards and mezzanine cards. Like ‘Avengers: Endgame’ . . . Kinda.
VITA 57.1 FMC
FMC is like the OG Avengers. It ages like fine wine and saves the – FPGA – world time and time again. FMC defines the electro-mechanical interface for FPGA expansion buses. Even after ten years, it continues to provide a variety of benefits to the embedded system developer.
VITA 57.1 FMC specifies two connector options linking the FPGA carrier card and mezzanine card. The LPC connectors provide 68 single-ended signals (or 34 differential pairs). The HPC connectors provide 160 single-ended signals (or 80 differential pairs), 10 MGTs and additional clocks.
FMC’s flexibility offers many benefits. These include sustained implementation and deployment in new technologies. FMC also allows for more efficient prototyping and a faster time to market for FPGA-based systems.
VITA 57.4 FMC+
If VITA 57.1 FMC is like OG Avengers, VITA 57.4 FMC+ parallels the recent success of new MCU stars Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Fully released in July 2018, VITA 57.4 FMC+ was designed to expand upon the already popular FMC standard while avoiding the hassle of implementation into existing systems.
FMC+ provides improved performance, faster data rates, and additional I/O, while utilizing the same footprint as FMC. Along with backwards compatibility with legacy FMC systems, FMC+ proves to be a stress-free improvement for any FPGA developer already using FMC.
A new FMC+ connector — HSPC — offers 560 pins in a 14×40 array, 24 MGTs, and supports high-performance 28 Gbps FPGA transceivers. FMC+ also supports an optional, secondary connector — HSPCe — which contains 80 pins in a 4×20 array and an additional 8 MGTs (for a total of 32).
The Future of FMC and FMC+
Now that ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is in the theaters, MCU fans want to know what will happen next. Obviously, ‘Spiderman: Far From Home’ in on the horizon. Many MCU movies are rumored, but only one has been confirmed.
In a similar manner, the FPGA world wonders what’s next for VITA 57. FPGA transceiver data rates will soon support 56 Gbps PAM4/112 Gbps PAM4 data rates. Can VITA 57 FMC/FMC+ keep up?
Thankfully, Dylan Lang has the answers. As Samtec Standards Manager, Dylan is one of many Samtec technical experts observing and participating in VITA and other standards bodies. He explores the future of VITA 57 in an article entitled How FMC Developments Support Legacy and Next-Gen Data Needs.
Like ‘Avengers: Endgame’, it will leave you wishing for more! Kinda.