I was chatting with the folks at Avago Technologies
the other day. These guys and gals specialize in creating analog interface components for wireless, wireline, and industrial applications. The topic of our discussions was their new Vortex Gearbox family of Physical Layer Transceiver (PHY) devices supporting Ethernet and Optical Transport Networking (OTN).
These devices feature Avago’s proven 28nm CMOS SerDes technology that has demonstrated compliance with IEEE CAUI and various Common Electrical Interface (CEI) standards, including CEI-11G-SR, CEI-25G-LR, and CEI-28G-VSR. The Vortex Gearbox devices also incorporate Avago’s unique proprietary Decision Feedback Equalization (DFE) architecture, which provides low overall power consumption, low data latency, and best-in-class jitter and crosstalk performance.
To be perfectly honest with you, although I've heard the term "Gearbox" in the context of communications systems before, I've never really understood what this meant, but the guys from Avago explained all. If you think of a mechanical system where a big gear wheel drives a smaller gear wheel, then this sort of gives the idea. In the case of a 10:4 Gearbox, we start with 10X 10Gbps channels and transform them into 4X 25Gbps channels.
By comparison, in the case of a 4:10 Gearbox, we transmogrify 4X 25Gbps channels into 10X 10Gbps channels. All of this is really easy; well, it is if you say it quickly enough and wave your arms around a lot -- in the real world it's incredibly difficult to do.
I also learned that most of the folks doing this stuff can only support an optical interface on the 25Gbps side of things. By comparison, Avago's solution can support optical, copper cable, and even copper backplane (they seemed really excited about this, so I'm sure it's important). The bottom line is that I'm very impressed, even if I don’t fully understand all of the implications (grin).The Vortex Gearbox AVSP-1104 device is production-ready
The Vortex Gearbox AVSP-1104 is a single-chip PHY IC designed for high-density 100G Ethernet and OTN applications. The device is ideal for driving both backplane and portside applications. Key features include:
“The wired communications semiconductor market has become increasingly concentrated. On the basis of its proven SerDes technology and broad portfolio of ASICs, ASSPs, IP and optics, Avago enters the PHY ASSP market with instant credibility,”
- Long reach performance withstanding up to 32dB of channel loss
- Hole-free operation from 1-28 Gbps
- Gearbox functionality for full-duplex conversion of four lanes (4x25 Gbps, 4x28 Gbps) to ten lanes (10x10 Gbps, 10x11 Gbps)
- Option for configuration as a retimer function for full-duplex transmission of ten lanes
- Programmable Tx/Rx equalization of all SerDes interfaces
- Bit Error Rate (BER) of 1e-20
- Easy-to-use diagnostic software for remote debugging
said Jag Bolaria, senior analyst at The Linley Group. “The features included in this first member of Avago’s new Vortex Gearbox family of customer channel products meet or exceed the requirements in both backplane and portside applications.”"With over 250 million SerDes channels shipped over the past decade, Avago has established a record of developing leading-edge embedded SerDes cores for high performance ASICs,"
said Frank Ostojic, vice president and general manager of Avago’s ASIC Products Division. "Building on this foundation, we now offer the AVSP-1104, the first product in the Vortex Gearbox family. We are delivering 100GbE solutions now and will enable designers to create systems incorporating serial communication at rates greater than 28Gbps in the near future.” Availability
Samples of the AVSP-1104 are available now in 320-pin fcBGA package. Contact your local Avago Technologies sales representative for pricing.Click Here
for more information on the Avago Vortex Gearbox AVSP-1104 device.
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