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Phyworks: Equalizer Clears Way to 8.5G Upgrades

September 22, 2008

Phyworks has introduced an equalizer and retimer receiver designed to greatly simplify the upgrade of existing 4.25G Fibre Channel equipment to full 8.5Gbps operation. A highly integrated chip, the PHY1068, offers all the functionality needed to double the speed of legacy backplanes, without expensive chassis upgrades. While in data center environments, the PHY1068 supports 8.5G copper cable interconnect between HBAs, switches and blade servers through thin gauge twin-ax cable assemblies, thereby replacing expensive optical interconnect at distances up to 30m.

Implementing Phyworks’ class leading FFE/DFE equalisation technology, the PHY1068 recovers error free data from signals severely degraded by crosstalk, channel loss and reflections typical of legacy backplane environments. Equalizer adaptation is fully integrated which eliminates the need for costly microcontroller support and complex algorithm development. The integrated retimer guarantees excellent jitter performance, even under extreme conditions of received jitter and noise.

The chip’s very low power dissipation of less than 0.7 Watt, small footprint and low external component count means equipment port densities can be increased and host boards and mezzanine interface cards easily upgraded. The PHY1068 is provided in a 36-pin BGA, 5mm x 5mm package with a 0.8mm ball pitch. The chip architecture is also extendable to 17G, the next step forward in Fibre Channel speeds.

Phyworks’ CEO Stephen King said, “Supporting a meter of legacy Fibre Channel backplane, the PHY1068 easily doubles the bandwidth capacity of today’s blade servers. And when it comes to data center interconnects, its 30m reach over copper Fibre Channel cabling at 8.5G means most high cost optical interconnect can now be replaced, served instead by lower cost thin gauge copper cable. The impact on the industry as a whole will be far reaching.”

Supported by a full reference design, The PHY1068 is sampling now and is available through Phyworks’ regular distribution channels. The chip is priced at less than $20 USD in volume.




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