Electronic Design

First Dual-Port 10GBaseT-Over-Copper Chip Slashes 10-Gbit/s Ethernet Gear

Many companies have been working for years to create the definitive 10-Gbit/s Ethernet physical layer (PHY) for copper cable. With the cost of optical 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) ports lingering at about the $3000 level, copper ports still look attractive at $500/port with existing chips. Now, Teranetics is changing all that with its TNTN2022 10GE copper PHY chip. Offering two ports, it further reduces that per channel cost.

10GE copper PHY chips typically allow standard Ethernet UTP CAT5e and RJ-45 connectors to carry 10 Gbits/s up to approximately 30 to 50 m. This is basically okay for most data centers, but the usual 100-m range offered by Ethernet would be better. This range can usually be achieved by using the higher-grade CAT6a unshielded twisted pair (UTP).

By using all four twisted pairs and 16 level encoding and 800 Msymbols/s per pair, the 10-Gbit/s rate can be achieved. This requires very sophisticated mixed-signal circuits and high-speed analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog, not to mention the large DSP gate structures to do the equalization, echo cancellation, and cross-talk cancellation. Now double all that circuitry to put two ports on a chip. It isn’t a trivial task, but that’s what Teranetics has done.

With a small footprint and a power consumption of only 6 W/port, the TN2022 makes economic sense as the base of new copper 10GE switches and other Ethernet products. It works with existing 10GE switches and media access controllers (MACs) like those from Fujitsu. 10GE copper now appears to be ready for prime time and the mainstream.

Sample quantities of the TN2022 are available now.

Teraranetics Inc.www.teranetics.com

TAGS: Digital ICs
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