Infineon Touts 40-Gig Chips
On reading Infineon's press release, first impressions are that it's developed a Sonet OC768 (40 Gbit/s) chip. But it hasn't, at least not yet.
The chip is actually a quad OC192 (10 Gbit/s) device, which processes four separate 10-Gbit/s data streams. But while that may not sound as important as OC768, it still represents a big advance on what's available today, says Jack Basi, VP of marketing for Infineon's WAN business unit.
Right now, OC192 line cards use multichip solutions for framing and mapping. Systems integrators buy in whatever system silicon they can and glue it together with ASICs.
Single chips that address this application are just about to hit the market. Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) (Nasdaq: AMCC), for example, is due to start shipping samples of its Mekong chip to customers in Q4 2001 (see AMCC Releases 'Mekong' Chip), while Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) is also rumored to have an OC192 framer-mapper shipping in the same time frame.
According to Basi, Catamaran's chip offers a fourfold increase in density over chips like the Mekong, as well as a corresponding decrease in power consumption. Moreover, it is also slated to start shipping to selected customers in Q4 2001.
AMCC officials had not responded to requests for comment by the time this article went to press.
The actual power consumption of the Catamaran chip is "less than 20 watts." It is also possible to deactivate unused ports to save power.
Although he's not allowed to talk about it yet, Basi hints that the path to OC768 is a smooth one. The chip already contains 768 pointer processors, so that it can assist with grooming at the STS1 (51.8 Mbit/s) level. To become a fully-fledged OC768 device, it would need additional muxing/demuxing capabilities, he says.
— Pauline Rigby, Senior Editor, Light Reading