Companies have been trying for years to make a low-power 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) twisted-pair transceiver, especially in multiport versions to make 10GE 48-port switch platforms practical. Now, Aquantia has accomplished that goal with its AQ1401 quad-port, AQ1202 dualport, and AQ1103 single-port 10GBaseT Ethernet physicallayer (PHY) transceivers (see the figure). The speed and power characteristics were achieved with Aquantia’s 40-nm silicon design.
These transceivers all fully comply with the IEEE 802.3an standard. They feature 2-W/ port power consumption for operation at 10 Gbits/s up to 10 m using CAT6A or CAT7 twisted-pair cable. Power consumption is 3.5 W up to 100 m with that cable. The chip supports a range up to 45 m on plain-old CAT5e and 55 m on CAT6 cable. The transceivers also support the XFI, RXAUI, XAUI, and SGMII interfaces. An XFI to XFI passthrough option is available for dual media applications.
Other features include a builtin thermal management system with sensor and alarm warning thresholds and advanced cable diagnostic. The chips’ performance exceeds a bit error rate (BER) of 10–12 with 100 m of CAT6A cable.
These devices target data center, server, switch, and storage equipment manufacturers. Potential products include 48-port switches, 48-port line cards, network interface cards, and local-area network (LAN) on motherboard (LOM) products. Samples will be available in the second half of 2009.
LOUIS E. FRENZEL