Altera Charts Optically Interconnected Programmable Devices

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Envisioning a world that matches bandwidth capacity with the imagination of application and content developers, Altera Corporation (Nasdaq: ALTR) today announced plans for optically interconnected programmable devices. Because transceivers are vital for this major industry development, Altera is leveraging its technology leadership in this area to make its vision a reality. These direct optical interfaces will allow a wide range of applications to significantly increase their bandwidth capabilities while also reducing overall system complexity, cost and power.

With the ever-expanding bandwidth demands of applications such as high-definition (HD) video, cloud computing, and 3D gaming, relying on traditional copper-based interconnects will impede innovation. Altera is utilizing its deep knowledge of system interconnect technologies to enable direct optical interfaces in future device packages and break through the bandwidth and signal integrity barriers inherent in copper technology.

For computer and storage-intensive applications such as data centers, the integration of optical interfaces into device packages could replace pluggable optics and reduce power by 70 percent to 80 percent while increasing port density and bandwidth by orders of magnitude. In backplane applications in the military, communications infrastructure and broadcast areas, these connections will replace expensive board material and connectors, increase bandwidth significantly and eliminate the signal integrity issues associated with using copper-based solutions.

The ability to drive a high-quality optical signal is directly related to the speed and quality of the signal coming from the transceiver at the on-chip electrical-optical interface. Altera’s best-in-class transceivers have continuously delivered the industry’s highest data rates to support the widest range of protocols, while at the same time featuring superior signal integrity.

“Altera has a strong history of delivering industry-leading technologies for today’s design challenges, while at the same time developing breakthrough technologies that unlock new possibilities for the future,” said Bradley Howe, vice president of IC engineering at Altera. “These direct optical interfaces have the potential to future-proof backplanes and deliver the vast quantity of available bandwidth long sought by application and content developers.”

For more information on Altera’s optical developments, including a white paper on the topic, visit

About Altera

Altera programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets. Find out more about Altera’s FPGA, CPLD and ASIC devices at Follow Altera via Facebook, RSS and Twitter.

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