Three-interface switch adds flexibility to SPI-4.2 networking boards -

Three-interface switch adds flexibility to SPI-4.2 networking boards

The FM1020 is a three-interface SPI-4.2 system interconnect switch that's part of Fulcrum Microsystem's PivotPoint family of high-performance switches for multi-Gigabit networking and storage system designs. The switch provides a high-performance, low-latency, chip-to-chip interconnect for complex, real-time data streams at speeds up to 10 Gbits/s and beyond. The FM1020 can maximize the use of packet processing resources in high-density 10/100/1000 Ethernet I/O cards.

PivotPoint devices replace discrete daisy-chain designs and inflexible system buses, converting a fixed configuration into a soft-assignable array of computing and packet processing resources. They offer any-to-any connectivity and data flow back when packets must be processed multiple times by a packet-processing resource. The new device offers full duplex SPI-4.2 speeds of up to 14.4 Gbits/s per interface and an internal non-blocking switching throughput of 96 Gbits/s.

PivotPoint offers a latency of less than 250 ns due to its high performance and its asynchronous core. Latency is also reduced by the FM1020's three-stage decoupled flow control architecture, which monitors for congestion at the egress buffer, the switch arbiter, and the ingress buffer. The fine-grain flow control eliminates buffer overflows and port starvation, providing smooth operation in even the most congested conditions.

The FM1020 features an innovative asynchronous crossbar architecture, known as Nexus, that leverages the low-power and high-performance benefits of Fulcrum's asynchronous technology foundation, and seamlessly marries the asynchronous core with standard synchronous interfaces (SPI-4.2, JTAG, and a generic CPU interface).

The FM1020 also features a configurable generic CPU interface for channel and queue configuration and status monitoring, and a standard IEEE 1149 JTAG interface for test and debug purposes. The switch is available in a 527-ball BGA package. It sells for $150 in quantities of 1000. More information can be found at

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