By Anthony Cataldo, EE Times
Lattice Semiconductor Corp. this week will unwrap a transceiver chip that moves
data at 10 Gbits/second, considered the luxury class among off-the-shelf
Lattice becomes the second programmable-logic vendor, after Xilinx Inc., to
move into standalone serializer/deserializer transceivers as a way to gain
sockets in networking equipment, which often have transceivers and programmable
logic resident on backplanes and line cards. PLD vendors are betting that
builders of such equipment, if given the choice, will opt to buy more parts from
Lattice last year acquired serial I/O specialist Cerdelinx Technologies and
the team of Cerdelinx engineers developed the XPIO 110GXS transceiver. Available
in sample quantities now, the device is expected to ship in volume in the third
quarter. The price is expected to be $79 in 5,000-unit quantities starting in
the first half of 2004.
The transceiver consumes just 0.8 watt at full speed. This was accomplished
by using an aggressive 0.13-micron process technology, which brings the core
voltage down to 1.3 V, and by displacing some analog circuitry with digital
Besides the immediate benefit of lower power dissipation, the architecture
gives Lattice confidence when it comes time to combine the transceiver with an
FPGA fabric on a single chip. "We feel that having a starting point at the
lowest power is going to give us a leg up," said Stan Kopec, vice president of
marketing at Lattice (Hillsboro, Ore.).
The transceiver lacks extra features that would help clean up a signal when
it is transmitted and received, known as pre-emphasis and equalization. Kopec
said there's no pressing need to include these "exotic" features because the
signal eye is clean enough to meet Ethernet and more-stringent Sonet jitter
specifications in many instances.
But Kopec acknowledged that Lattice will have to add some signal-modifying
techniques if it wants to meet pending requirements under discussion by the
Optical Internetworking Forum for continuous serial speeds of 9.95 to 11.1
Gbits/s and 4.976 to 6.375 Gbits/s.