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CONTEST Open Source Transceiver Design

The CONfigurable Transceiver Energy uSage Toolkit (CONTEST), an open source transceiver design developed in collaboration between Dr Philip Watts of UCL's Optical Network Group and Andrew Moore's group at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, has been made available to promote further work in low power integrated transceivers. It will allow other researchers to extend the transceiver models and also reproduce our power results thereby permitting meaningful comparison.

Power consumption of networking equipment is under increasing scrutiny, particularly as network end points are moving on-chip in the latest processors.  Although ultra-low energy silicon photonic components and have been demonstrated, these front-end circuits only consume a small proportion of total serial transceiver power.  Hence, major reductions in optical transceiver power can only be obtained with attention to the physical layer circuits and protocols.  In addition, major changes to transceiver protocols are required for power gating and to take advantage of future optical switching systems.

CONTEST allows the characterisation of the energy consumption of the physical layer of optical transceivers including line coding, frame alignment, channel bonding, serialisation and deseralisation, clock/data recovery and clock generation.  Full simulation, synthesis power estimation and optimisation support is provided.

The CONTEST toolkit is distributed under the conditions of the Hardware License and is available with documentation at the GitHub

If you use this toolkit in your own research, please cite the following paper:
Y. Audzevich, P. M. Watts, A. West, A. Mujumdar, S. W. Moore, and A. W. Moore, "Power Optimized Transceivers for Future Switched Networks," IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (2014)

If you are planning to contribute to the project, please contact us for more information and assistance:
Yury Audzevich (Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge)
Andrew West (Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge)
Philip Watts (Dept. of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, UCL)
Andrew W. Moore (Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge)

This work was supported in part by the EPSRC program grants, INTelligent Energy awaRe NETworks (INTERNET) and UNLocking the capacity of Optcial Communications (UNLOC) projects and an EPSRC Career Acceleration Research Fellowship award to Philip Watts. Additionally, this research is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), under contract FA8750-11-C-0249.