The rise of 56 Gbit/s PAM-4 protocols is challenging designers to provide switches with connection systems that can handle the high speeds, all the while keeping the system cool and making designs manageable. Simply soldering stacks of connectors to a motherboard may not be the best solution as printed circuit board (PCB) traces become more of a factor in system design. This is leading to some interesting connector alternatives like Molex’s BiPass cable and backplane system (see photo). designed to ease the design of high-speed network switches.
Molex’s BiPass QSFP+ to Near ASIC assembly is designed to hand 56 Gbit/s PAM-4 protocols. It has lower insertion loss than PCB traces and simplifies the manufacturing process. The approach allows easy front panel customization. The Twinax cables help improve airflow compared to stacked connector systems.