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Issue 17 October 25, 2011

Jeff Crystal & Phillip Stearns

Voltaic Systems

Electrical Engineering Community


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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S TABLE OF CONTENTS

4

Jeff Crystal and Phillip Stearns VOLTAIC SYSTEMS

Interview with Jeff Crystal, COO and Phillip Stearns, Lead Product Development and Testing Technician

Featured Products Hardcore Micros - Microchip’s PIC10F32x

8 10

BY PAUL CLARKE WITH EBM-PAPST A look at the new and interesting features coming to PIC Microcontrollers.

14

MPLS-TP: Emerging Technology for Packet Transport Network BY RISHI CHUGH WITH ALTERA An introduction to Multi-Protocol Label Switching-Transport Profile as a new, emerging technology.

RTZ - Return to Zero Comic

EEWeb | Electrical Engineering Community

18

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3


INTERVIEW

Voltaic Systems

How did you get into electronics/engineering and when did you start? Jeff: I majored in biomedical engineering at Tulane, which had a big circuits component, but I really wasn’t able to put my degree to use as I went into management consulting and then software startups. One of the joys of starting with Voltaic was the opportunity to get hands-on again with electronics and physical devices.

Phil: I was always curious about electronics and started tinkering with one of those Radioshack 30 in 1 electronics labs in grade school. Most of that curiosity, however, was sated by opening electronic devices and prodding about their insides. Putting them back together in working order, though, was a whole other story. I gained all of my knowledge of basic theory when studying engineering physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, before transferring to the Denver

Jeff Crystal - COO (right) Phillip Stearns - Lead Product Development and Testing Technician (left)

campus to study audio engineering, where I explored the practical applications of that theory in music production. What’s fun about solar? Jeff: It’s like flying. You know technically how an airplane functions but every time I take off from a runway, I’m like, “Wow, this really works.” It is the same thing with solar. I use it every day, but when I take a solar panel and connect it to a battery or a device or a light and it powers it up, I get a little thrill. Luckily, learning to use solar is a little easier than learning how to fly. Phil: It is incredibly liberating to realize that it’s possible to generate power without having to plug into a wall. I have the most fun dreaming up creative ways of integrating small-scale solar in sculptures and other artworks. Teaching solar is a very rewarding experience too. What are your favorite hardware tools that you use? Jeff: For what we’re doing, a multimeter or two is really the everyday tool we depend on.

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FEATURED INTERVIEW

Jeff Crystal & Phillip Stearns


INTERVIEW

What are your favorite software tools that you use? Jeff: This may sound funny, but we use PowerPoint all the time to draw up specs on all sorts of things. For the most part, we’re not doing circuit level design, we’re specifying the physical design and the behavior. It allows us to work really quickly to build specifications on a wide range of components. Phil: I’m a hardware guy. What is the hardest/trickiest bug you have ever fixed? Jeff: For me, it is the actual manufacturing of components. We’re dealing with over 15 suppliers and we’re trying to work with them to make the highest quality components. Even with simple components like phone adapters that you’d think should have zero problems, it turns out that sometimes the supplier solders a bit wrong, so it breaks if you bend it too far. We’re constantly getting samples, trying to break them, and making suggestions on how to manufacture them for better durability. I’d love to say that we have “fixed” this, but the reality is that we will always be making improvements to our components. Phil: Charging Apple products is a tricky affair, and it took a bit of reverse engineering and conversations with our suppliers to figure out. All the Apple products charge using OEM

cables and docks, most of which plug into an AC power adapter via USB. What we learned was that all four pins of the USB connector are used to communicate to the Apple device telling it how much power it can draw, and these vary by Apple device. For the time being, we seem to have it all figured out, but with Apple constantly upgrading its products and changing its standard, who knows how long it will be before we have to figure it out all over again.

It is incredibly liberating to realize that it’s possible to generate power without having to plug into a wall. What is on your bookshelf? Jeff: A lot of books on economic development, plus too many Nordic mystery novels. I use the Web for most of my engineering information. Phil: A healthy mix of electronic references, critical theory, sound and art theory, modern physics, and gardening books: A well worn copy of The Art of Electronics by Horowitz and Hill, several different selections from Don Lancaster’s Cookbook series, Baudrillard, Virillio, Zizek, Agamben, John Cage’s Silence, Harry Partch’s Genesis of a Music, How to Imagine by Gianfranco Baruchello, and The One-Straw

EEWeb | Electrical Engineering Community

Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka are just a few of my favorites. What online resources do you use? Jeff: I spend a decent amount of time on Adafruit.com—sometimes for their technical explanations, which are simple, but written very well. I also look to them as a model for sharing information I’ve learned about almost anything, and sharing it with the world. We’re not as good as them at this and might not ever be, but we really love how open they are about sharing and teaching. Phil: Google. Whenever there’s a part (especially ICs) that I encounter in the field that I’m not familiar with, I pop the part number into Google and can usually pull up a datasheet a few clicks later. Wikipedia is also good for refreshing my memory and filling in any gaps in knowledge. If the answers aren’t in either of those places, I tend to turn to the books. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve? Phil: Unrelated to my work at Voltaic, I circuit bend devices (intentionally short circuit components) to induce erratic output. It’s an anti-engineering approach to producing art with electronics. You can see some images I’ve produced with low resolution digital cameras http://continentcontinent. cc/index.php/continent/ar ticle/ viewArticle/27. Because we as a society haven’t fully dealt with the end-of-life issues of our electronic devices, fully functional machines can be found on the street awaiting trash collection. These discarded electronic devices are becoming fodder for a growing art movement

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FEATURED INTERVIEW

Phil: I really like the Array 3710 programmable load and the Array 3644 programmable bench supply. The two in combination allow for detailed analysis of battery charging and discharging characteristics.


INTERVIEW What are you currently working on?

What challenges do you foresee in our industry?

What has been your favorite project?

Jeff: We’re working on solar LED lighting. LEDs are getting more powerful and cheaper. And to some extent, so are batteries and solar panels. This means that it will become economical for a safe, clean lighting source to replace unsafe, dirty, and expensive lighting sources like kerosene across the globe.

Jeff: In consumer electronics, size and performance are always an issue. People want things smaller and cheaper. The issue is that solar cells really haven’t gotten that much more efficient. So when people buy products with a tiny little solar panel on it, they may think it is cute but the end result is that it just doesn’t work that well and they end up souring on all of solar. I think properly setting expectations and educating masses of people who have been trained on plugging things into perfectly functioning wall outlets on how to use solar will take some time.

Jeff: Recently, getting our iPad solar charger (http://www.voltaicsystems. com/) out was a lot of fun. There are a lot of people doing things around phone charging, but no one had really done anything close to the right design, performance, and price for tablets. On the engineering side, there were a lot of tradeoffs about cost, weight, charge times, and device compatibility we had to think through. I think we’re happiest when we can be building products that no one else is. Do you have any note-worthy engineering experiences? Jeff: The first time that we connected one of our batteries in development to a device and the battery started smoking. I think we all learned the importance of over-discharge protection at that moment. We also got more formal on the battery testing process to make sure the things we specified actually made it into the product. Phil: When I took on learning how to build my own bench supply, I connected my first linear supply circuit to the mains, and almost immediately both of the large filter capacitors popped and started venting a noxious smelling smoke. It took three days and several cans of air freshener for the smell to go away. It was an important lesson in double checking electrical connections and matching component specs to project demands; a postmortem examination revealed that I had wired the transformer backwards!

Phil: A big project that we’re coming close to finishing is our line of laptop chargers. We’ve been tweaking designs for optimum efficiency charging from solar, as well as making sure the batteries can supply power for the most demanding laptops on the market today. We hope to release our new high-power systems in the fall. On the low power side of things we’re taking on NiMH battery charging, and are developing a AA battery charger optimized for charging from solar. What direction do you see your business heading in the next few years? Jeff: We think there is a conversion happening from AC to DC. If you think about LED lighting as well as our phones and tablets (becoming the defacto TV), you can power a lot of things in a home without AC. From a solar perspective, this means you don’t need an inverter. You don’t need a big lead acid battery. You need a small to moderate sized solar panel and a compact lithiumion or lithium-polymer battery. We think this will make the economics of solar much more effective and practical for low and middle-income families around the globe.

EEWeb | Electrical Engineering Community

I think the other challenge will be dealing with end-of-life issues. In a decade or so, there will be a lot of solar panels and batteries that have stopped functioning properly. Are these recycled properly? Can we recover the value from them. I don’t think that has been worked out. Phil: The challenge of educating people is a major issue. I see the portable solar market as a path toward marketing larger utilitybased approaches to solar energy production. If many people are having poor experiences with portable solar charging, then that will inform their attitudes toward proposals for larger scale installations in their communities. Sadly, not all of us are convinced that solar is worth the expense, otherwise we’d see panels covering rooftops and southern-facing office buildings everywhere. Ultimately, the larger scale utility-focused installations are where solar’s greatest potential lies. Making

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FEATURED INTERVIEW

that involves using them as raw material for creative projects.


INTERVIEW little watt has the chance to add up. Additionally, the manufacturing processes used to make portable solar resilient and durable also contribute to the end-of-life issues. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon are easily recycled, but not if they’re encased in epoxy. Newer, more efficient thin film solar appears to satisfy the durability requirement when mounted on a suitable substrate, but will also have to address issues of recycling, especially due to the increased use of exotic materials. As Jeff said, there is a lot left to be worked out when it comes to dealing with endof-life issues.

Jeff: In addition to the big idea that we’re helping people generate their own power and helping them create street-level conversations about alternative energy, the biggest change in the production of components of the last few years has been RoHS standards. We select suppliers who comply with RoHS and require it any place it applies. We’re also trying to get more of our own components back in-house from customers so that we can reuse or recycle them properly. I think we can get a lot better here though. ■

FEATURED INTERVIEW

solar portable means that people will carry it with them, which is great, except that we spend much of our time indoors. This means the resources used in making portable charging systems are not being utilized to their maximum potential. Permanent outdoor installations will gather and convert solar energy whenever it’s available rather than only when availability and circumstance intersect to place the user of portable solar outdoors during a sunny day. In addition to being able to charge on the go (while biking to work), plugging devices into outlets powered by panels on the roof makes sense. A challenge I see is integrating portable solar products with grid interactive systems so that every

What are you doing on the environmental side of things?

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F E AT U R E D P R O D U C T S Agilent Technologies Inc. added optional arbitrary waveform generation capability and five new analysis applications to its InfiniiVision 3000 X-Series oscilloscopes. AWG makes it easy for engineers to capture waveforms with their oscilloscopes and instantly convert them to stimulus files to simplify stimulus/response testing. Nine months ago, Agilent was the first major test-instrument vendor to integrate a function generator with an oscilloscope. This integration is popular with manufacturers who want to simplify stimulus-response testing, R&D engineers who need to simulate missing signals and educators who want a simple tool for teaching students about instrument operation. Now the company has become the first to add AWG to its oscilloscopes. Agilent is including this software upgrade – which is used with the integrated WaveGen 20-MHZ function generator option – at no additional cost. For more information, please click here.

Embedded Motor Control Dev Kit Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions, and Digilent®, Inc., today announced the availability of a Microchip dsPIC33 Digital Signal Controller (DSC)based development kit. The Digilent® Cerebot™ MC7 Development Kit addresses the growing interest in embedded motor control from the academic and hobbyist markets, and is ideal for learning about microcontrollers and solving real problems. The kit includes a demonstration board that provides four half-bridge circuits, eight RC servo motor connectors, the ability to use Digilent Pmod™ peripheral modules, and an integrated programming/debugging circuit that is compatible with the free MPLAB® IDE. Example applications include university embedded-systems and communications classes, senior capstone projects, and numerous other academic and hobbyist projects. For more information, please click here.

Improved Handheld Spectrum Analyzer Agilent Technologies Inc. announced it is adding new features and options to its recently launched N934xC handheld spectrum analyzer (HSA) family. The introduction also includes HSA PC software enhancements. “The HSA launched in March 2011 delivered a rich, powerful, fieldready instrument for engineers and technicians,” said Brian LeMay, general manager of Agilent’s Chengdu Instruments Division. “Now we have added even more capabilities to make it one of the most versatile handheld spectrum analyzers available today.” For more information, please click here.

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FEATURED PRODUCTS

Oscilloscopes with Waveform Generator


Technology You Can Trust

Ultra Low Power Digital Optocouplers in Industrial Communication Interfaces 90% less power than standard optocouplers 40% lower power than alternative opto-isolators • Ultra low power • High temperature and supply voltage range • High noise immunity (35 kV/µs dynamic and static common mode rejection) • Certified for safe insulation (up to 1140 Vpeak continuous working voltage)

To request a free evaluation board go to: Avago Technologies new generation optocouplers, ACPL-x6xL series and www.avagotech.com/optocouplers ACNW261L, offer significant power efficiency improvements for industrial communication interfaces. With 35 years of experience in digital optocoupler design, Avago delivers quality you can count on. Optocouplers

ACPL-M61L/064L/W61L/K64L

Controller

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Key Features


HARDCORE MICROS

Microchips PIC10F32x Paul Clarke

Electronics Design Engineer

A

s an embedded engineer I’m always looking for more and more functions from a smaller and smaller package. Over the last six months, Microchip has been releasing information about the smallest of its chips— PIC10F32x—and in this article we will look at the new and interesting features coming to PICs.

Up till now when I have looked at the very small end of the micro range, the PIC10s have never offered anything that would get me excited or convince me that they are very usable. At ebm-papst, when I’m designing bottomend tiny products, I need at least one PWM, so I have been using what I would have called a slightly overspec PIC12F615 for my products. In the last few weeks however, Microchip has released the Data Sheet for the PIC10F320 and PIC10F322. These I have been looking at using for some time; however, it was the added features of these two new chips that stand out to me, and I’m not just talking about the added Flash and RAM or PWMs they now have. The first new shiny feature is Configurable Logic Cells (CLCs). The PIC10 is not the first to have these, as there is a new breed of PIC12s and 16s that have these too. However, having this and the other features on such a small chip is surprising and also powerful.

Figure 1

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CLCs are chunks of combinational logic that can be configured to perform high-speed functions without needing core processing time. Each block has eight

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10


TECHNICAL ARTICLE CLCxIN[2] CLCxIN[3] CLCxIN[4] CLCxIN[5] CLCxIN[6]

Input Data Selection Gates

CLCxIN[1]

Q1

See Figure 19-3

LCxOE

lcxg1 lcxg2 Logic lcxg3 Function lcxg lcxg4 LCxMODE<2:0>

TRIS Control

lcx_out

LCxPOL

CLCx

lcxg1 lcxg2 lcxg3 lcxg4

lcxq

CLCxIF flag

Interrupt det

inputs that can come from I/O pins, internal clocks, Peripherals, or even from register bits. These inputs can then be passed through one of a number of pre-configured logic blocks that perform functions like AND-OR, S-R, J-K and D type flip-flops. What’s then quite nice is that an external pin can be driven directly from this output, read internally, or it can even generate an interrupt. It may not have the flexibility and programmability of, say, a FPGA LAB, but I can see these becoming very useful glue logic tools for embedded engineers.

LCxMODE<2:0>=001

4-input AND

S-R Latch

lcxg1 lcxg2 lcxg3 lcxg4

lcxq

Data Selection

Q

lcxq

R

LCxMODE<2:0>=010

LCxMODE<2:0>=011

2-input D Flip-Flop with R

lcxg4 lcxg2

D

lcxg1

S

Q

lcxq

lcxg4 lcxg2

D

lcxg1

R

lcxq

Q

R

lcxg3

lcxg3 LCxMODE<2:0>=100

LCxMODE<2:0>=101

J-K Flip-Flop with R

1-input Transparent Latch with S and R lcxg4

lcxg2 lcxg1

J

lcxg4

K

Q

R

lcxg3

lcxq

lcxg2

D

lcxg1

LE

S

Q

lcxq

R

lcxg3 LCxMODE<2:0>=111

Data GATE 1 lcxd1T

LCxD1G1T

lcxd1N

LCxD1G1N

111 LCxD2G1T LCxD2G1N 000

lcxg1

LCxD3G1T lcxd2T lcxd2N

111

LCxG1POL

LCxD3G1N LCxD4G1T LCxD4G1N

LCxD2S<2:0> 000

Data GATE 2 lcxd3T

(Same as Data GATE 1)

lcxg2

lcxd3N

Data GATE 3

111

(Same as Data GATE 1)

LCxD3S<2:0> CLCxIN[0] CLCxIN[1] CLCxIN[2] CLCxIN[3] CLCxIN[4] CLCxIN[5] CLCxIN[6] CLCxIN[7]

S

Figure 4

000

LCxD1S<2:0>

CLCxIN[0] CLCxIN[1] CLCxIN[2] CLCxIN[3] CLCxIN[4] CLCxIN[5] CLCxIN[6] CLCxIN[7]

lcxg1 lcxg2 lcxg3 lcxg4

1-input D Flip-Flop with S and R

LCxMODE<2:0>=110

CLCxIN[0] CLCxIN[1] CLCxIN[2] CLCxIN[3] CLCxIN[4] CLCxIN[5] CLCxIN[6] CLCxIN[7]

lcxq

sets

LCxINTP LCxINTN

Figure 2

CLCxIN[0] CLCxIN[1] CLCxIN[2] CLCxIN[3] CLCxIN[4] CLCxIN[5] CLCxIN[6] CLCxIN[7]

lcxg1 lcxg2 lcxg3 lcxg4

LCxMODE<2:0>=000

Interrupt det

See Figure 19-2

OR - XOR

LE

LCxEN

CLCxIN[7]

AND - OR

LCxOUT

Q

TECHNICAL ARTICLE

D

CLCxIN[0]

lcxg3

Data GATE 4

000

(Same as Data GATE 1) lcxd4T lcxd4N 111 LCxD4S<2:0>

Figure 3

EEWeb | Electrical Engineering Community

lcxg4

Another nice feature to find in such a small chip is the Complementary Waveform Generator (CWG). This allows you generate controllable waveforms for use in a half bridge or switching power supply for example. The module allows for selectable input sources and have some nice and simple auto-shutdown controls. Dead time is also programmable for both the rise and fall side. I’ve seen similar modules on the larger chips but found this much easier to understand and more independent of the code that may be running on the core. Both the CLC and CWG could be really nice units if only you have a clock source that is easy to control and whose frequency is easy to set. Well the chips now also come with a Numerically Controlled Oscillator (NCO) that can be used to feed the above CLC and CWG modules. This is no Phase Lock Loop (PLL) but will allow for simple clock division. The module works by having a configured value added to an accumulator on each clock cycle. The overflow is then used as a raw output that can be

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TECHNICAL ARTICLE Increment

TECHNICAL ARTICLE

16 (1) Buffer 16

Interrupt Event

Set NCOxIF Flag To CLC and CWG modules

∑ 11

NCO1CLK LC1OUT

10

Fosc

01

HFINTOSC

00

D

20

To NxOUT bit

Overflow

Accumulator

NxOE

Q

20

NxEN

Q

TRIS Control

0

NCOx Clock

NCOx

1

2 NxCKS<1:0>

S

Q

R

Q

NxPFM NxPOL

3 NxPWS<2:0> NCOx Clock

Reset

Ripple Counter

Figure 5

used to drive the module in a number of modes. For example, simple toggling of the output allows for a fixed 50 percent duty, or you can use the module for pulsed frequencies with output pulse width control.

a whopping big QFP just to get the features, but suffer with the high pin count. About the Author Paul Clarke is a digital electronics engineer with strong software skills in assembly and C for embedded systems. At ebm-papst, he develops embedded electronics for thermal management control solutions for the air movement industry. He is responsible for the entire development cycle, from working with customers on requirement specifications to circuit and PCB design, developing the software, release of drawings, and production support. ■

The new features could very well be a clue to where Microchip is going with new designs, maybe trying out these features on the smaller silicon before it makes its way up to the 32bit cores. However, these new features are a welcome sight to me as an embedded engineer. I like the idea of getting more and more features inside small chips—my designs do not need a lot of I/O pins but they need to be clever. I really don’t want to be using

GxASDLA GxCS

2

Fosc

cwg_clock

“0” “1”

1

2 00 10 11

GxASDLA - 01

CWGxDBR

HFINTOSC

GxOEA

6 GxIS PWM1OUT PMW2OUT N1OUT LC1OUT

2

1

EN

Input Source

S

Q

R

Q

R

=

0 GxPOLA

TRISx

CWGxDBF 6 EN

GxOEB R

=

0 GxPOLB

1

“0” “1” CWG1FLT (INT pin) GxASDFLT LC1OUT GxASDCLC1 GxASE Data Bit WRITE

GxASE

Auto-Shutdown Source

GxARSEN

S

Q

R

Q

set dominate

D

S

CWGxA

Q

shutdown

GxASDLB

00 10 11

TRISx CWGxB

GxASDLB - 01

2

x = CWG module number

Figure 6

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Get the Datasheet and Order Samples http://www.intersil.com

80V, 500mA, 3-Phase MOSFET Driver HIP4086, HIP4086A

Features

The HIP4086 and HIP4086A (referred to as the HIP4086/A) are three phase N-Channel MOSFET drivers. Both parts are specifically targeted for PWM motor control. These drivers have flexible input protocol for driving every possible switch combination. The user can even override the shoot-through protection for switched reluctance applications.

• Independently drives 6 N-Channel MOSFETs in three phase bridge configuration

The HIP4086/A have a wide range of programmable dead times (0.5ms to 4.5ms) which makes them very suitable for the low frequencies (up to 100kHz) typically used for motor drives.

• Bootstrap supply max voltage up to 95VDC with bias supply from 7V to 15V • 1.25A peak turn-off current • User programmable dead time (0.5µs to 4.5µs) • Bootstrap and optional charge pump maintain the high-side driver bias voltage.

The only difference between the HIP4086 and the HIP4086A is that the HIP4086A has the built-in charge pumps disabled. This is useful in applications that require very quiet EMI performance (the charge pumps operate at 10MHz). The advantage of the HIP4086 is that the built-in charge pumps allow indefinitely long on times for the high-side drivers.

• Programmable bootstrap refresh time

To insure that the high-side driver boot capacitors are fully charged prior to turning on, a programmable bootstrap refresh pulse is activated when VDD is first applied. When active, the refresh pulse turns on all three of the low-side bridge FETs while holding off the three high-side bridge FETs to charge the high-side boot capacitors. After the refresh pulse clears, normal operation begins.

• Brushless Motors (BLDC)

Another useful feature of the HIP4086/A is the programmable undervoltage set point. The set point range varies from 6.6V to 8.5V.

• Drives 1000pF load with typical rise time of 20ns and Fall Time of 10ns • Programmable undervoltage set point

Applications • 3-phase AC motors • Switched reluctance motor drives • Battery powered vehicles • Battery powered tools

Related Literature AN9642 “HIP4086 3-Phase Bridge Driver Configurations and Applications” ”HIP4086EVAL Evaluation Board Application Note” (Coming Soon)

200

VDD

CHB

RDEL

BHB

VxHB - VxHS = 10V

AHB

Speed

AHI ALI

Controller Brake

BHI BLI

HIP4086/A

AHO

Battery 24V...48V

BHO CHO CHS BHS AHS

CHI CLI

VSS ALO BLO CLO

OUTPUT CURRENT (µA)

VDD

150

100

50

0 -60

-40

-20

0

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

JUNCTION TEMPERATURE (°C)

FIGURE 1. TYPICAL APPLICATION

June 1, 2011 FN4220.7

FIGURE 2. CHARGE PUMP OUTPUT CURRENT

Intersil (and design) is a registered trademark of Intersil Americas Inc. Copyright Intersil Americas Inc. 2010, 2011 All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.


MPLS-TP

TECHNICAL ARTICLE

TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Emerging Technology for Packet Transport Network Rishi Chugh

Sr. Manager, Product Marketing

W

ith the ever growing demand for bandwidth primarily being driven by the wireless-mobile market, the communication equipment suppliers are on a quest to transform the existing cell-based grid into more scalable and efficient packet-based networks— particularly transport. The legacy TDM (i.e., SONET/ SDH) has been known for its reliability and manageability. These are the current bench marks for packet-based technology. Today with 40GE/100GE standardized, Ethernet is seen as the most cost-effective and scalable architecture for deploying packet-based networks. The key advantage which one achieves from packet-based networks is statistical multiplexing, whereby multiple client information is a single stream of data traffic. As there is more deployment of packet-based services, carrier operators are looking to reduce CAPEX spending and provide scalable solutions. Multi-Protocol Label Switching–Transport Profile (MPLS-TP) is emerging as a new technology, which is being developed by The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to provide a reliable transport infrastructure for any type of client or aggregate multiple clients. The objective of MPLS-TP

EEWeb | Electrical Engineering Community

is to provide service providers with a reliable packetbased technology that is based upon circuit-based transport networking, and thus is expected to align with current organizational processes and large-scale work procedures similar to other packet transport technologies. These key objectives to meet the demands of transport networks are shown in Figure 1. Objective MPLS-TP provides a common platform for providing reliable transport solutions for packet and TDM services over optical networks, thereby leveraging the widely deployed MPLS technology. In order to ensure the successful deployment of this platform, it is necessary to define and support implementation of OAM and resiliency features associated with tradition MPLS stack. These are essential features for carrier transport –performance monitoring, multi-domain, protection, scalable operations. MPLS-TP is being deployed in entire OTN network food chain, where larger ODU payloads are being transported. Vendors today are architecting their solutions to handle more finely grained units of traffic, carried over the OTN via MPLS.

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TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Scalable

Cost-Effective

Reliable

Multi-Client

Support any number of clients within the entire network (from access to core)

Low protocol complexity (L1/L2) with unified management & control across packets

Monitor end-to-end performance and connection oriented. Strong OAM, resiliency

Support any type of client traffic with quality of service.

TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Transport Network - OTN PIPE

Figure 1: Different Demands made on Transport Networks

Key characteristics of MPLS-TP shown in Figure 2: • Connection oriented platform (Pseudowire architecture) • Client-agnostic (L1,L2,L3 clients) • Physical layer agnostic (Not specific PMA requirements or rates) • Enhanced operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) functions • Support for various protection schemes i.e., FEC as in transport protocol stack • Control Plane GMPLS is supported by MPLS-TP client or server • Multicasting

Network Stack Management Plane Control Plane Data Plane Framing/Forwarding/OAM Protection, Restoration

Figure 2: MPLS-TP Deployment in the Network Stack

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Today’s generation of FPGA devices provides a platform for implementing advanced MPLS-TP OAM solutions (supporting ITU-T G.8113.1 or IEFT standards). These solutions enable communication vendors to design their systems to be compatible with both IETE and ITU-T standards. These system solutions will accelerate market adoption to transition to packet transport networks. Protocol stack like 1588v2 and SyncE are also supported on FPGAs today, thereby providing a complete solution stack for telecom equipment vendors. Summary MPLS-TP is enabling next-generation packet-based networks by integrating the routing and transport platforms. MPLS-TP-based architecture takes advantage of the cost-effectiveness and ease-of-use of Pseudowire and adds service features like flow control, Quality of Service (QoS) and connection oriented provisioning. The key benefit is consistent operations and OAM functions across the entire network stack and compliance with interworking MPLS platforms. Architecturally MPLS-TP is highly scalable due to its multiplexing capability, which supports multiple layers. By deploying MPLS-TP, operators can add new services, while reducing cost significantly. MPLS-TP specifications are well suited for aggregation and access nodes of the network, where migration of TDM-based network to packet-based network is occurring. The OAM enhancements associated with MPLS-TP will allow service providers to have better visibility within their core network and improve overall performance. Figure 3 illustrates how MPLS and MPLS-TP can be deployed and their complementary nature.

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TECHNICAL ARTICLE

AGGREGATION

L2

Option 1 Option 2

Option 4

CORE

MPLS/MPLS-TP

L2

MPLS/MPLS-TP MPLS/MPLS-TP

Option 3

TECHNICAL ARTICLE

ACCESS

MPLS/MPLS-TP MPLS/MPLS-TP

MPLS/MPLS-TP

MPLS/MPLS-TP

(Static)

(Dynamic)

MPLS/MPLS-TP

Figure 3: MPLS-TS Food Chain

About the Author As senior product marketing manager, Rishi Chugh is responsible for product marketing in Altera’s wireline business group, as well as leading its specific product

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planning activities. Mr. Chugh joined Altera in March 2008, and has over 15 years of industry experience with LSI and Artisan Components (acquired by ARM). ■

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EEWeb Pulse - Volume 17  

Interview with Jeff and Phillip about the culture, products, and people behind Voltaic Systems; Hardcore Micros – Microchip’s PIC10F32x; MPL...

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