Analogix Claims SerDes Advance

Analogix Semiconductor boasts first high-speed backplane SerDes ICs with adaptive dsp-based noise cancellation, signs Huawei-3Com contract

April 5, 2004

4 Min Read

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Analogix Semiconductor has introduced the first high-speed physical-layer transceivers that incorporate digital signal processing (DSP) techniques to eliminate the signal integrity ("noise") problems associated with 5- and 10-gigabit-per-second data transmission over backplanes and copper media.

The D-PHY family of SerDes ICs is based on a new architecture that combines Analogix's WideEye(tm) technology - a set of adaptive DSP-based noise-cancellation techniques - with advanced analog signal conditioning. Unlike analog-only solutions, which simply mask detrimental signal effects such as crosstalk and reflections, the D-PHY family actually removes these effects, ensuring maximum signal integrity.

With noise problems eliminated over standard FR-4 backplanes and very-short-reach (VSR) system-to-system copper interconnects, system designers can:

  • *upgrade existing backplane systems with four-fold performance;

  • *design new, higher-speed systems with low-cost connectors and easily manufactured FR-4 materials rather than far more complex and expensive materials; or

  • *replace fiber-optic inter-system connections with much lower-cost standard unshielded twisted pair (UTP) or InfiniBand copper cable at distances of up to 50 meters.

The D-PHY family is designed for use in enterprise switches and routers, carrier-class transport equipment (including optical switches and cross-connects), Fibre Channel and IP- based storage systems, and high-end servers.

The first D-PHY products, D-PHY 5G backplane transceivers, are being announced today. A 10-Gbps serial backplane transceiver family and a 10-Gbps serial interconnect over copper IC family will be introduced later this year.

Ted Rado, vice president of marketing at Analogix, said, "The ubiquitous copper-based FR-4 backplanes in today's systems were designed when speeds of 5 Gbps and above weren't even imagined. Now designers of switches, servers, storage arrays and the like want more performance, but they want to get it by upgrading, not replacing, their existing systems. As vendors try to design new high-speed cards that fit into old FR-4 backplanes and interoperate with existing cards, they face major noise issues that analog techniques can't handle - not just signal attenuation but crosstalk and reflections. Since the backplane itself has a fixed number of traces, the burden is on the silicon to deal with the increased noise while pushing more performance through those traces.

"The same issues surface in system-to-system interconnect, where, even at distances of under 50 meters, copper media have severe noise issues at speeds over 1 Gbps," Rado added. "Thus far, expensive, power-hungry fiber solutions have been the only choice."

In a seperate release:

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Analogix Semiconductor has announced that Huawei-3Com Co., a recently formed joint venture between one of China's largest telecom companies and a leading U.S. networking vendor, will use Analogix's high- speed communications ICs in its next-generation networking equipment.

Huawei-3Com is the first major customer for Analogix, a startup company today introducing its initial products. The Silicon Valley-based Analogix also has a development team in Beijing, China.

Huawei-3Com plans to incorporate Analogix's D-PHY family of 5- and 10-gigabit-per-second physical-layer transceivers (SerDes) ICs into switch and router products now under development. The D-PHY family, which includes both backplane and system-to-system serial interconnect products, uses advanced digital signal processing (DSP) techniques to eliminate the signal integrity problems that characterize high-speed data transmission over copper media.

Henry Tso, Huawei-3Com's chief technology officer and vice president of research and development, said, "Like most system vendors, we are always trying to improve performance and drive down system costs. The Analogix products' unique combination of advanced analog and DSP signal-conditioning capabilities, plus a built-in compatibility with legacy materials and line cards, makes them ideal for both system upgrades and cost-effective new designs. And their Beijing- based engineering team will foster excellent communication and local support as we deploy the products in our systems."

Kewei Yang, CEO of Analogix, said, "We look forward to a close working relationship with Huawei-3Com that will benefit us through a give-and-take of ideas as we bring our initial products to market. Through Huawei-3Com, Analogix will gain early entry into the high-growth Asian networking market, which has seen virtually no impact from the economic downturn."

Analogix Semiconductor Inc.

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