EE Product News

Fibre Channel Repeater Chip Boosts Network Performance

A new Fibre Channel repeater chip, the nLiten BBT2020, is designed to eliminate crucial bottlenecks in mass storage networks. This translates into faster data access in the Internet, enterprise networks, servers, workstations, and high-end PCs. The patent-pending chip is expected to double the transfer speed of such mass storage networks as disk farms, storage area networks (SANs), and RAID systems. The new device also improves reliability by allowing drives to be isolated and replaced while the system is operating.
The BBT2020 can network four disk drives in a ring architecture using a 2.125-Gbps Fibre Channel connection. Each chip contains an additional input and output so that drives can be cascaded. Cascading can be done indefinitely due to a unique clock and data recovery circuit that restores the condition of the data stream to better than its original input, a technique known as zero jitter peaking.
The overall bandwidth of the chip is 19.25 Gbps based on the four full-duplex, 2.125 Gbps disk ports and two 2.125 Gbps cascade ports. The device's patent-pending technology allows conventional 0.25 µm CMOS to exceed GaAs and BiCMOS performance without the price and power penalties of those processes. The chip consumes just 300 mW (typical) at 3.3V.
Fully compliant with the ANSI X3T11 Fibre Channel specification, the BBT2020 chip contains built-in drives that directly interface to copper twinaxial cable or to fiber-optic transceivers. The device can be configured to operate at either 2.125 or 1.06 Gbps. It is sampling now with full production in August, 2000. Packaged in a 44-pin PQFP, the BBT2020 is priced at $24 each/1,000.


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