An innovative new technology called Align Lock Loops (ALLs) forms the basis for implementing fast, simple, and affordable chip-to-chip and board-to-board communication.By Clive MaxfieldSeptember 26, 2007Introduction
Just a couple of days ago as I pen these words, I was chatting with Bryan Hoyer from Align Engineering. After slaving away for years in their secret underground bunker, these little rapscallions have just come out of "Stealth Mode". As part of their public launch, the folks at Align have announced a patented breakthrough technology called Align Lock Loop (ALL), which allows every LVDS input/output (I/O) pair in an FPGA to be used as a complete SERDES (Serializer/Deserializer) solution. This forms the basis for implementing fast, simple, and very affordable chip-to-chip and board-to-board communication without using large numbers of I/O pins and without involving intensive engineering that makes your eyes water.
In fact, I was so excited about the ALL concept that I decided to pen this brief technology introduction/backgrounder. Bryan promises that Align will follow this with a full-up "How To" article in the not-so-distant future (after the "proof-in-silicon" technology demonstration that is currently planned for sometime in Q4 2007).
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