AXIe Consortium announces optical communication standard for instrumentation systems

The AXIe Consortium announced a new specification, Optical Data Interface, suitable for high-speed instrumentation systems addressing challenging applications in 5G communications, mil/aero, and advanced communication research, the group said.

The AXIe Consortium was joined by Conduant Corporation, Guzik Technical Enterprises, Intel Corporation, Keysight Technologies, Samtec Incorporated, and Xilinx in endorsing the standard and stating their plans to offer components or instrumentation products compliant with the new standard. Though managed by the AXIe Consortium, the new standard is not specific to AXIe, and works equally well with any instrument format, whether traditional bench instrument, or AXIe, LXI, or PXI modular design.

The ODI standard leverages three layers of technology. The physical layer is defined as optical technology consisting of 12 lanes of 14.1 Gb/s each, enabling 20 GBytes/s per optical port. Multimode fiber cables connect ports together, using the standard MPO (Multi-fiber Push On) connector. Ports may be aggregated, with four ports delivering 80 GBytes/s.

The protocol layer is defined by the Interlaken standard, a device interconnect standard common in data centers, conceived by Cortina Systems and Cisco Systems. Interlaken is supported by the major FPGA suppliers, and delivers arbitrary packets over any number of lanes.

The top layer specifies packets defined by the VITA 49 family of standards, also known as VRT, VITA Radio Transport. VRT packets are sent between devices using standardized data formats and context packets.

Conduant, Guzik, and Keysight all announced their intent to deliver products with ODI interfaces.

AXIe is an instrumentation standard based on AdvancedTCA (ATCA) with extensions for instrumentation and test. AXIe Consortium membership is open to all vendors who agree with the stated goals and intend to provide solutions to the marketplace.