At last year's AI Hardware Summit and SC21, the two companies demonstrated a comprehensive PCIe 6.0 and 112G Ethernet solution, featuring the IP, ICs, PCBs, connectors, and cable assemblies. As a high-speed interface that is getting faster with each generation, PCIe and Ethernet are well suited to HPC applications. Deployed in a hyperscale data center with state-of-the-art channels, the demos featured:
- 2e-8 raw PHY pre-forward error correction (FEC) bit error rate (BER) versus 1e-6 BER target of the PCIe 6.0 specification
- All four lanes operating at 64 GT/s across channels with ~36 dB loss
- Package, PCB and connector loss, reflection, and discontinuities mimicking the PCIe 6.0 channel
- 1e-8 BER
- 37 dB of channel loss
- Maximum performance in a transmitter and receiver loopback mode
While the full version of PCIe 6.0 could come in early 2022, many chip designers have already been developing designs to take advantage of the faster data transfer rate (64 GT/s per pin). In fact, some are looking ahead to the even faster bandwidth that the next generation of the standard is expected to bring. This is also true for 112G Ethernet: while standards organizations are defining the standard for 100G, 400G, and 800G Ethernet, Synopsys is already demonstrating successful interoperability with our ecosystem partners. So, demos such as the one from Synopsys and Samtec provide mutual customers with the ability to see how their design might work in their unique use cases.
The benefits of interoperability are clear for designers. For the companies engaged in collaborations, their working relationship also gives them a head start in developing their solutions for emerging standards. For example, say Synopsys is developing new SerDes IP. By obtaining, in advance, the channels from Samtec, Synopsys engineers could design the IP based on the latest specs, while compensating for real-world impairments before silicon validation. In other words, Synopsys, too, can do some early groundwork to ensure that the IP will work smoothly with the connectors, modules, and cables.