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My company is looking to replace an old design that uses the now obsolete PEX 8311 to go from PCIe to a very custom optical protocol (through an FPGA). My initial plan was to use an FPGA with integrated transceivers, but with the IC shortage, I can't find any that would be available to me.

I'm having trouble figuring out the right path forward. I thought I would be able to find some kind of replacement for the PEX 8311, ie. some kind of PCIe PHY that can serve as a bridge between the PCIe bus and an FPGA. I can only find one option that is still manufactured: the XIO1100. I'm hesistant to design this in because it's so old, I'm afraid it may go End-of-Life at any time.

Am I thinking about this in the wrong way? Is there some other path that others take in order to get data from PCIe to an FPGA?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You could try a generic search term like PCIe bridge but seems like most items are backordered. Some folks have resorted to a dev kit just for prototyping the chip, while waiting for stock. Some vendors are >1year behind. \$\endgroup\$
    – rdtsc
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 21:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Xilinx PCIe transceiver parts (e.g. Artix-7) are all backordered until early 2024 at this point, but you can still get development boards and (with enough digging) sometimes a few ICs. Depending on your timeline, you might be able get something mostly working with a devboard and/or a few ICs for prototyping then ship in 15 months or so. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 1:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rdtsc At the octopart link you sent, if you filter to "In-stock Only" and "Lifecycle Status == Production", the remaining parts are: PCIe switches (not useful for this project), PCIe to ethernet/1394b (not useful for this project), or the XIO part I mentioned \$\endgroup\$
    – sbell
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 12:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Guess there aren't any alternatives then. Albert Einsten: "If I'd only have known, I would've been a carpenter instead." \$\endgroup\$
    – rdtsc
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 12:57

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Last I checked (Mid 2022) the more modern process node Xilinx parts are somewhat available, just don't try for the old 6 series stuff (Like hens teeth those are).

One warning about PCIe and fpgas, the delay between power on and bus enumeration can be annoyingly short when you consider loading the bitstream, locking the PLLs, and maybe doing DDR calibration, there is a Xilinx app note that goes into strategies to get around this if your host cannot re-enumerate the bus from a running system.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just took another look, and couldn't find any Xilinx w/ integrated transceivers available. Could you point me to where you might have seen them available? \$\endgroup\$
    – sbell
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 12:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think we just get them from L2TEC who are our local distributors, some leadtime but that is the game these days. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan Mills
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 13:45

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