Sunday, July 23, 2006

Quake's SFP+ PHY Chips Slashes Cost of 10 GigE

Quake Technologies announced the availability of the industry's first integrated physical layer IC for all SFP+ 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) applications. Quake's QT2035S is the first silicon device to integrate a standard XAUI-interface 10G Ethernet PHY, with complete SFP+ signal processing support.

SFP+ modules, by virtue of being 40% smaller than XFP modules, allow for full-density 48-port designs. Elimination of redundant electronics in the module reduces power consumption by at least 500mW per port while dramatically lowering end-user costs.

"The signal processing problem for SFP+ presents a significant challenge," said Stan Blakey, Quake's director of product architecture. "For SFP+, the PHY must provide equalization not only for various grades of installed-base fiber, but also for circuit board impairments. The programmable Electronic Dispersion Compensation engine in our QT2035S device is the first solution to provide the performance headroom required in SFP+ applications."

Quake estimates that the advanced signal processing technology in its new chip will reduce the cost of 10G optics to less than a quarter the price of today's solutions. By reducing silicon in the optical modules to a minimum and through economies of scale between FibreChannel and Ethernet production volumes, the cost of SFP+ modules is significantly lower than larger form factors.

"Today, the wholesale cost for a typical XFP module for short-reach 10G Ethernet is approximately $350. Using Quake's new QT2035S and SFP+ technology, the cost of a module for this same reach can be reduced to below $100," said Mitch Kahn, Quake's vice president of marketing.

"An additional benefit of the EDC performance of the QT2035S is that is allows us to use lower performance transmit optics, such as those for FibreChannel, and run them at 10G," continued Kahn. "The EDC engine compensates for the limited transmitter bandwidth; enabling over time a 10G short-reach SFP+ module with a cost very close to that of a FibreChannel SFP. At around $50, that's a 10x savings over today's technology."

Quake said SFP+ is not an entirely new technology; rather it is the natural evolution of SFP small form factor optics developed for 1G Ethernet and 1G, 2G, and 4G FibreChannel. SFP+ has been defined to support both 8G FibreChannel and 10G Ethernet. This will drive the same economies of scale that allowed for significant cost savings in the previous generation of 1/2/4G FibreChannel and 1G Ethernet.

Migration of the SFP form factor from 4Gbps to 10Gbps in SFP+ requires advanced signal processing in both receive and transmit directions. Quake's new QT2035S device is the first silicon solution to integrate a standard, XAUI-interface, 10G Ethernet PHY with complete SFP+ signal processing support.

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