Electronic Design

Single-Chip Transceiver Targets Light Peak Technology

The roadmap for communications divides into two primary pathswireless and optical. While copper cabling won’t go away, data rates keep increasing, making optical the best choice especially when distance exceeds a few meters. Optical is also getting cheaper and better each year.

Recognizing this, Intel’s Light Peak technology targets consumer electronics, PC peripherals, and other short-range fast communications applications. It may eventually replace or at least complement USB, hopefully eliminating the need for a multitude of different cables and connectors.

Ensphere Solutions is one of the first companies to address the forthcoming Light Peak optical transport technology. Its ESI-XVR10100 single-chip optical transceiver provides 10-Gbit/s full-duplex communications over optical fiber up to 100 m. It puts everything you need for optical transport on a single chip and works with Intel’s forthcoming Light Peak controller (Fig. 1).

The receiver (RX) uses a PIN diode for its input. The transmitter (TX) uses an 850- nm vertical-cavity surfaceemitting laser (VCSEL) diode for output. The chip includes two TX and RX ports, both of which deliver 10 Gbits/s. Its flexible architecture supports multiple diagnostic modes and a comprehensive set of power- management modes. The ESI-XVR10100 is made with 65-nm CMOS that provides the lowest power dissipation and cost with the flexibility to offer variations and customization for a broad range of applications.

Intel’s Light Peak module will be far smaller, lighter, and cheaper than current small form-factor pluggable (SFP) 10-Gbit/s optical transceivers (Fig. 2). It will operate over 125-µm fiber up to 100 m long, but it usually will cover a shorter distance. It’s designed for video storage units, printers, webcams, and other PC peripherals as well as TV sets, set-top boxes, DVD players, and other consumer products. It will also support legacy protocols such as HDMI, DisplayPort, PCI Express, and other high-speed serial interfaces. And it’s expected to easily scale to 100 Gbits/s, making it a good long-term (more than 10 years) interface solution.

The ESI-XVR10100 is available in sample quantities with full production at the end of the year.



TAGS: Intel
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