Halstor Introduces New Fibre Channel (FC) Controller Design

Framingham, MA. - Halstor, Inc., a pioneer in configurable I/O and storage solutions, introduced a FC (Fibre Channel) controller design implemented on standard Xilinx FPGA.

This design is specifically optimized to work in conjunction with our SAS design. It can also be used independently in both initiator and target modes. This design can be optimized for other FC based protocols like FICON or FCAE.

Our FC design can coexist with our SAS design on the same chip , allowing simultaneous operation in both FC and SAS environments.

Halstor's FC Controller Design is optimized for its intended target: the storage system and server manufactures that require custom FC controllers implementing functions like vendor specific commands, stream replications, data filtering, proprietary checksums, interfaces and more. Together with our SAS design it can be directly applied to create single chip FC to SAS protocol converter. As a result, emphasis was given to provide the highest possible level of programmability and embedded intelligence.

The Halstor FC design delivers best-of-class price-performance and allows customers to meet their expanding storage needs. The design features:

  • Two FC ports.

    Each port can auto select mode independently and can be configured as a SCSI Target or as an Initiator.

  • Embedded processors

  • Full FC PHY and link layer logic

  • Multi-buffer architecture optimized for very high performance

  • Efficient silicon utilization

    Sharing the same processor, buffers and most of the dedicated hardware results in a significant reduction in the silicon resources in comparison to separate cores implementation and as such provide a dramatic decrease in the associated cost. Dedicated port processors replace large and complex state machines, registers and counters, further reducing the size of the silicon required.

  • Flexibility

    Additional functions can be implemented in a relatively straightforward fashion. The current design can be integrated with security protocols by allowing direct in-line implementation of encryption/decryption hardware and integrated security related functions in microcode. Functions can be moved between microcode and hardware, resulting in various performance/silicon size implementations.

  • Testability

    The current design implementation on our Serial Controller Development System allows direct connectivity to complementary devices (drives, controllers) from various vendors. Changes - both hardware and microcode - can be implemented very quickly and tested immediately. Specialized test functions and traps can be added in hardware and microcode resulting in a dramatic decrease in development time.

  • Customization for ASICs is possible

The IP of this design is available for licensing, giving the customers the unique opportunity to expedite the design process and tailor it to their needs. HalStor is also offering the consulting and support services, including silicon integration and function customization, allowing customers to utilize our design and protocol experience in their projects.

HalStor Controller Development Platform

HalStor's FC Controller design is implemented on HalStor's SIMBA Development Platform featuring extended programmability and a set of tools required to develop any fast serial interface or controller. It is ideally suited to follow up the current FC specification with any future versions, as well as to facilitate the implemenation of the MIL-STD-1760E

This platform alone provides an unprecedented tool, both extremely powerful and versatile, allowing efficient controller development, debugging, and dramatically reducing the cost and time of development.