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Altera® Industry Standard

Overview of Altera® HSMC Spec Including HSMC Interconnect

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The Altera® HSMC defines electrical and mechanical properties of a high speed mezzanine card interface. This specification standardizes the way in which mezzanine cards communicate and connect to host boards. By taking advantage of the high- performance I/O features found in today’s FPGA devices, manufacturers can build a single mezzanine card that will then interface to multiple host boards. Similarly, they can build a host board that can leverage many different, pre-built, mezzanine cards.

The HSMC connectors defined by the specification are based on the 0.5mm pitch Q Strip® QSH/QTH series high speed board-to-board connectors from Samtec. See the complete HSMC Specification from Altera for further information and recommendations for running both high-frequency and low speed interface signals within the various “banks."



Altera Development Kits

Altera Arria V GX Development Kit (featuring HSMC Connectors, FMC Connector, Bulls Eye®)

Contact Samtec’s Pricing Department to request a quotation for any of the Samtec interconnects listed below



Altera Arria V GX Dev kits

HSMC Connectors

The HSMC connectors defined by the specification are based on the 0.5mm pitch Q Strip® QSH/QTH series high speed board-to-board connectors from Samtec. The host board connector is Samtec part number ASP-122953-01 (a modified QSH series). The mezzanine card connector is Samtec part number ASP-122952-01 (a modified QTH series). These ASP connectors are partitioned into three “banks.” Bank 1 in each respective connector has every third signal pin removed to allow for multi-gigahertz differential signaling. Bank 2 and Bank 3 in each respective connector have the entire rows of signal pins filled for various single-ended interface signals.

The HSMC connectors can be purchased from Samtec by any customer to use in their own proprietary hardware design. Contact Pricing to request a quotation for these connectors:

Samtec Final Inch® PCB Design Tools to support HSMC connector implementation

Final Inch® is Break Out Region (BOR) PCB designs that save design, development and validation time and resources and predict real-world performance expectations in real world signal integrity applications.



FMC Connectors - Custom versions of Samtec's SEARAY™ Connector

The Field Programmable Mezzanine Card (FMC) standard provides a mechanical standard for I/O mezzanine modules. This standard introduces a methodology that allows the front panel IO of IEEE 1101 form factor cards to be configured, via mezzanine boards. The FMC connectors selected by Altera for their Development Kits is a 400 I/Os Samtec SEARAY product in a 40 x 10 configuration. Mating options are available from Samtec to achieve either 8.5mm or 10mm stack heights.

Print for Samtec FMC used on Altera Development kit: ASP-134486-01-MKT

Common mating connector options: ASP-134602-01 (achieves 8.5mm stack; lead-free), and ASP-134488-01 (achieves 10mm stack, lead-free).

Samtec Final Inch® PCB Design Tools to support FMC connector implementation

Final Inch® is Break Out Region (BOR) PCB designs that save design, development and validation time and resources and predict real-world performance expectations in real world signal integrity applications.

Click here for an overview of Final Inch data for SEARAY SE and DP configurations



Bulls Eye® Test Point System

Altera selected Samtec's Bull's Eye® test point system for their Arria V GX FPGA Development Kit. Bull's Eye® is a high-density, high-performance, low-cost solution that eliminates the need for expensive RF connectors on production boards. The receptacles are approximately 10% of the cost of SMAs at virtually the same performance. This ganged solution is denser than GPPOs, conserves board real estate, and allows shorter breakout traces. You will find everything you need below to utilize this system in conjunction with the development kit, but should you have any questions please contact us at RFGroup

Attaching the Bull's Eye® Receptacle to your PCB is easy. Instructions can be found here!

BAR-J-22 Routing footprint



Included in This Kit Samtec Part Number (Print) Purchase
Bull's Eye® Test Point Receptacle (Qty 1) BAR-J-22 Buy Now
CCA-25M Cable Assemblies (Qty 4) BE25S-01SP1-01.0-02-0152 Buy Now
Insertion/Extraction Tool (Qty 1) CAT-EX-SCC-01 Buy Now


Arria® II GX FPGA Development Kit
Stratix® IV GX FPGA Development Kit
Audio Video Development Kit, Stratix® IV GX Edition
Cyclone® III FPGA Development Kit
Altera Embedded Systems Development Kit, Cyclone® III Edition
DSP Development Kit, Stratix® III Edition
The Stratix III FPGA Development Kit
Terasic DE3 System, Stratix III Edition

For a complete listing of Altera daughter cards to expand the functionality of other development platforms,
including those which utilize the HSMC Specification please go here.



Samtec High Speed Cable Solutions

to mate with HSMC connectors

Samtec offers a few standard lengths of High Data Rate cables for customer hardware applications, which use the HSMC connectors and need a high speed cable. Contact the TLS Group for technical information and the Pricing Group to request a quotation.


Samtec also offers a high speed coax SMA breakout cable for observation of the differential signal channels on a test instrument. Contact the TLS Group for technical information and the Pricing Group to request a quotation.


NOTE: The HDR-128291-XX breakout assembly is suitable to test the signal pins of each bank individually. This is assuming the customer has the socket ASP-122953-01(a modified QSH series) on their board since the cable assembly has the terminal ASP-122952-01 (a modified QTH series).   

Also, note that in Bank 1 of ASP-122953-01, every third pin is omitted for pair separation and is an exact match to the pinout of the connector on the HDR-128291-XX assembly. Banks 2 & 3 on ASP-122953-01 are laid out with the signals on the matching pins to mate to the HDR-128291-XX cable, however every third power pin would be a "No Connect" when the cable is mated.

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