Wayne, N.J. -- Startup KeyEye Communications is touting the development of a CMOS transceiver that will allow designers to push 10-Gbit/s data rates over category 6 copper cabling using only four pins on a chip.
With data centers and enterprises looking to support high data rate operation, equipment vendors are being pushed to deliver 10-Gibt/s performance on exiting cabling " both optical and copper -- as well as across existing backplanes. To date, many solutions have capped out in the 5- to 6.25-Gbit/s range. However, by using a PAM-4 signaling scheme and embedding an echo canceller on-chip, KeyEye says that it can deliver 10-Gbit connections up to 50 meters over CAT-6 cabling.
The use of PAM-4 on the chip is unique. While other transceiver companies, Accelerant, for example, tap into this technology, most use an NRZ signaling scheme. But, the symbol rate reduction provided by PAM-4 made it the clear choice for KeyEye, said Lee Harrison, vice president of operations at KeyEye.
"By using PAM-4, we can cut the symbol rate in half," Harrison said. Coupled with the chip's ability to transmit and receive simultaneously on the same pin, Harrison said the symbol rate is reduced by one quarter, thus cutting the chip's susceptibility to interferers on the line.
Echo canceller also helps improve transmission across the cable. This canceller allows designers to achieve more predictable transmit paths, Harrison said.
KeyEye will target its transceiver device at applications such as expanding the data rate of existing backplanes or developing new systems. One area where the company sees potential is in data center applications, said KeyEye CEO Harvey Scull.
KeyEye's transceiver device is currently under development. The company expects to send its first product to market in the summer of 2004.