SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The DesignCon 2013 votes are in and the eyes have it. Copper
traces can handle 40 and even 56 Gbits/second, according to one of the
most talked-about papers at event here.Engineers from LSI Corp. and TE
Connectivity ran simulations showing eyes peeking open--barely--at 56G
without using any exotic technologies.
The paper did suggest in
its assumption and conclusions (below) the industry will need to move to
better materials (Panasonic's Megtron-6 got most mentions)
and more advanced modulation schemes (here comes PAM-2 and -4!). But
the big headline is there is at least one and maybe two more turns of
the crank before printed circuit boards and chips enter the optical era.
It won't be easy. There's a Jell-O boat load of jitter ahead. But copper's here for a few more years.
Separately, IBM, Samtec and others showed important work in optical engineering plowing the way to a more distant future.
the show floor displayed a handful of notable innovations, a few good
engineers picked up awards for their work and people drank beer. The
following slides provide a rough synopsis of the lessons learned and fun
found along the way.
Its amazing to know that copper traces can handle 40-50GB/s. I remember in India all telephone lines were using copper cables and it was later replaced with optical cables. I wonder if it was good idea to retain those cables.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.