SAN MATEO, Calif. " Since spinning off from Conexant Systems Inc., Mindspeed Technologies Inc. (Newport Beach, Calif.) has established, among other things, a successful line of large crossbar switch ICs for the high-speed network and storage markets.
Now, Mindspeed is introducing the M21131V 72-by-72 port and M21151V 144-by-144 port video crossbar switches. The devices operate at Sonet speeds using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.'s 150-nm CMOS. The core of the switch chips is a multiplexer-array crossbar, using a higly proprietary routing scheme to preserve signal integrity through the dense routing necessary to synchronize 144 or more inputs and outputs.
In addition to the switching core, the devices have a control interface. They also feature programmable input equalization and output pre-emphasis. The latter is another proprietary Mindspeed design that works without phase-locked loops at nearly zero power.
While this product line is well established, Mindspeed said it saw an opportunity for slower devices in the digital TV studio and production facility market. Signal integrity and high bit rates are vital, and fast set-up and break-down time are important, as they are for the storage-area network market where Mindspeed already had customers.
The major difference in requirements is that the demand in the studio market is for high-definition data rates like 1.6 Gbits/s rather than Sonet's 2.5 Gbits/s or higher rates. Demand for reconfiguation times is less stringent.
This fit nicely with the yield pattern on Mindspeed's existing parts. While the switching cores were consistent, there was some yield loss due to insufficient speed in the I/O circuitry. Many of this functionally correct but slightly-too-slow parts fit in the lower 1.6 Gbits/s speed category.
Both video crossbar switches devices use the same pin-compatible 1156-terminal, 35-mm ceramic BGA.The parts are specified to operate at 1.6 Gbits/s over 60 inches of FR4 with four connectors in the circuit, and consume a typical 6W and 12 W respectively.
The devices will support SMPTE data rates up to 1.485 Gbits/s along with any combination of 1x Fibre Channel or Gbit Ethernet signals, independent of course of the data format involved. They are available now in samples, with volume production in January 2004. Prices in thousands are $495 each and $950 each, respectively.