Low Latency Ethernet 100G MAC and PHY Intel® FPGA IP Core

Figure 1. 100G Ethernet Intel FPGA IP Core

Intel® offers ultimate flexibility, scalability, and configurability with the Low Latency 100G Ethernet Intel FPGA IP core targeted to network infrastructure and data centers. The Low Latency 100G Ethernet Intel FPGA IP core is compliant with the IEEE 802.3ba-2010 standard, it includes a media access control (MAC), PHY, physical coding sublayer (PCS), physical medium attachment (PMA), and an optional forward error correction (FEC) block. It also includes IEEE 1588v2 timestamping support and the capability to drive backplanes on supported Intel Stratix® and Intel Arria® FPGAs. This IP can be used for chip-to-chip interfaces using copper interconnect or optical transceiver modules. 

  • The IP core is designed to the IEEE 802.3ba-2010 High-Speed Ethernet Standard, available on the IEEE website (www.ieee.org). The MAC provides cut-through frame processing to optimize latency, supports full wire line speed with a 64-byte frame length and back-to-back or mixed length traffic with no dropped packets. All Low Latency 100G Ethernet Intel® FPGA IP core variations include full duplex MAC and PHY components, and offer the following features:

PHY features:

  • Soft PCS logic that interfaces seamlessly to Intel Stratix® 10 FPGA 25.78125 Gbps serial transceivers
  • CAUI-4 external interface consisting of four FPGA hard serial transceiver lanes operating at 25.78125 Gbps
  • Optional Reed-Solomon forward error correction - RS(528,514) FEC
  • Support for Auto-Negotiation/Link Training (AN/LT) protocol


Frame structure control features:

  • Support for jumbo packets
  • TX and RX cyclic rredundancy check (CRC) pass-through control
  • Optional TX CRC generation and insertion
  • RX and TX preamble pass-through options for applications that require proprietary transfer of user management information
  • TX automatic frame padding to meet the 64-byte minimum Ethernet frame length


Frame monitoring and statistics:

  • RX CRC checking and error reporting
  • Optional RX strict SFD checking per IEEE specification
  • RX malformed packet checking per IEEE specification
  • Received control frame type indication
  • Optional statistics counters
  • Optional fault signaling: reports local fault and generates remote fault (IEEE 802.3ba-2012 Ethernet Standard, Clause 66) 


Flow control:

  • Optional Ethernet flow control operation using the pause registers or pause interface (IEEE 802.3, Clause 31)
  • Optional priority-based flow control that uses the pause registers for fine control (IEEE Standard 802.1Qbb-2011, Amendment 17)
  • Pause frame filtering control


Debug and testability features:

  • Optional serial PMA loopback (TX to RX) at the serial transceiver for self-diagnostic testing
  • TX error insertion capability supports test and debug
  • Optional access to Altera Debug Master Endpoint (ADME) for debugging or monitoring PHY signal integrity


User system interfaces:

  • Avalon® Memory-Mapped (Avalon-MM) management interface to access the IP core control and status registers
  • Avalon-ST datapath interface connects to client logic with the start of frame in the most significant byte (MSB). The interface data width of 512 bits ensures the data rate despite this RX client interface SOP alignment and RX and TX preamble passthrough option
  • Hardware and software reset control


For a detailed specification of the Ethernet protocol, refer to the IEEE 802.3ba-2010 High-Speed Ethernet Standard.


Year IP was first released


Latest version of Intel® Quartus® Prime Design Software supported





Customer deliverables include the following:

  • Design file (encrypted source code or post-synthesis netlist)
  • Simulation model for ModelSim*- Intel FPGA Edition
  • Timing and/or layout constraints
  • Documentation with revision control
  • Readme file


Any additional customer deliverables provided with IP


Parameterization GUI allowing end user to configure IP


IP core is enabled for Intel FPGA IP Evaluation Mode Support


Source language


Testbench language


Software drivers provided


Driver OS Support



User interface

Avalon®-ST (Datapath), Avalon-MM (Management)

IP-XACT metadata



Simulators supported

Mentor Graphics*, Synopsys*, Cadence*

Hardware validated

Intel Arria® 10

Industry standard compliance testing performed


If Yes, which tests?


If Yes, on which Intel FPGA devices?


If Yes, date performed


If No, is it planned?



IP has undergone interoperability testing


If yes, on which Intel FPGA devices?


Interoperability reports available


For technical support on this IP core, please visit the Ethernet Support page. You may also search for related topics on this function in the Knowledge Center.

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