I am considering a project where I need a board to take in 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and then use the inputs from that 10GBE port to send out USB messages, 'low latency' discrete IO, as well as contain a UART (RS232).

The USB would be full speed (12MHz) and I expect the 10Gigabit Ethernet to be Base-T (copper twisted pair) but I can include an external phy to translate it to something appropriate for a given device if needed. The 'low latency' IO I would hope to be able to switch in the hundreds of nanoseconds or single digit microseconds range, but this is not a hard requirement; really I just can't have the millisecond latency that you would expect from a processor. They would not be switching in real time based on the 10GE messages, but I might get a 10GE message that indicates they need to switch at a given frequency (say 2 MHz for example).

I know something like a big huge Intel or Xilinx SoC could do this, but my main constraint is to minimize the size and power consumption of this board.

I was hoping some of the folks here might be able to offer a suggestion with the main constraint of size and power in mind.



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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you actually need 10gbe? I can't see a way of meeting that latency without FPGA. And what's on the other end? \$\endgroup\$ – pjc50 Feb 11 at 22:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ These are strange requirements. I fail to understand in which situation you'd need 10GbE to end up just sending packets through USB full speed. Besides, it looks like a shopping question, which is off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Feb 11 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry if it's off topic. Is there a better place to post a question like this? Yes I need 10gbe, and yes an FPGA sounds like it's what would be needed, am trying to see how to do this (rather minimal needs) without being so wasteful. On the host end of the 10GBE link, I don't know. On the other end of the FPGA is a uP which is acting as USB peripheral device. \$\endgroup\$ – scuba Feb 11 at 22:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like a X-Y problem. What is your "low latency" I/O? Full-speed USB will have the latency in millisecond range at best. What do you mean to "send out" USB messages? To whom? To a USB device? Or yours is a USB device? \$\endgroup\$ – Ale..chenski Feb 12 at 6:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is clearly a X-Y problem. Using 10GbE to try lowering latency when the final link in the chain is using USB full-speed doesn't make sense. You should tell us more about the general problem you're trying to solve. Then, we can start making useful suggestions. For example, if the data to output is predictable, use regular 100base-T, and send a timestamp along with the data so the endpoint accurately knows when to process things. Or if the data isn't predictable, don't use ethernet/USB at all. Use a dedicated RS-485 link from end to end, and a custom protocol with no overhead. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Feb 12 at 8:46

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