Electronic Design

Crosspoint Switch IC Boosts I/O Capacity For Telecom Designs

Designers who want to increase I/O capacity and add other features to telecommunications systems can do it with a new IC, the MSX532. This device features 532 configurable ports, individually configurable I/O buffers, and double-buffered configuration RAM cells for simultaneous global updates.

The MSX532 is the first member of the new MSX family of SRAM-based, in-system programmable, switching-matrix devices from I-Cube Inc. According to the company, OEMs can use it to develop scalable system designs that can be easily modified to meet growing customer needs for increased I/O density while complying with evolving industry standards. Among the target applications are digital cross-connects and other various access products.

The foundation of the MSX device is a silicon-efficient, non-blocking crossbar architecture. It uses the switch matrix to connect I/O buffers in one-to-one or one-to-many connections. I-Cube believes its MSX family should prove to be an excellent alternative to ASICs and other forms of programmable-device types.

Built in 0.35-µm CMOS processes, the MSX crossbar switch matrix has an aggregate bandwidth of over 53 Gbits/s for bit-oriented applications. The individually configured I/O buffers can be programmed to serve as inputs or outputs, to provide bidirectional operation, or to operate in Bus Repeater mode. Designers also can select signal direction, data-flow mode, and slew-rate control.

The device has tight skews and identical pin-to-pin delays. Also, it features a flow-through NRZ data rate of 300 Mbits/s and registered clock frequencies of 200 MHz. It has a 5-ns propagation delay in flow-through mode, 1-ns output-to-output skews, output slew-rate control, and 8-mA output current. Moreover, it operates at 3.3 V with LVTTL I/Os.

Designers can configure the device's switch matrix, I/O buffers, and control registers by using either the JTAG serial interface or the company's faster RapidConfigure interface. The latter constitutes a parallel interface with 28 pins, making connections possible in as little as 12 ns.

Full production volumes of the MSX532 will be available in the first quarter of this year. The switching-matrix device comes packaged in a 792-pin TBGA, and it is priced at $799 each in 1000-unit quantities.

I-Cube Inc., 2065 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell, CA 95008; (408) 341-1888; fax (408) 341-1899; www.icube.com.

See associated figure.

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