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Company Brings 10Gbps Performance To UTP

SOLARFLARE Communications took the wraps off a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chip that integrates the complex analog front-end (AFE) circuits of 10Gbps Ethernet transceivers in an unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cabling environment.

Officials tell us that the move is the next step in the process of 10Gbps-enabling UTP-based infrastructures, which could help organizations put off decisions to migrate major cabling upgrades (such as replacing existing cable with fiber-optic cables).

The SOLARFLARE AFE, say officials, is a mixed analog and digital device fabricated with 0.18-micron CMOS technology and housed in a 473-pin ball grid array (BGA) package. The AFE reportedly integrates the functionality of four 10-bit, 1Gsps analog-to-digital converters with various programmable-gain amplifiers and phase-locked-loops. As such, it extends the state-of-the-art in analog chip design by employing isolation techniques to allow multiple high-speed, high accuracy data converters to operate in proximity to low noise, high-linearity amplifiers.

The underlying technology is based on NASA efforts to filter noise and reconstruct signals from deep space probes. "The approach that was taken with building the algorithms that receive a clean message from transmitters in the outer parts of the solar system have been adapted to deal with interference in high-speed copper lines," an officials said.

The technology recognizes and records extraneous noise and noise from adjacent twisted pairs and arithmetically subtracts those elements in constructing the composite message which is delivered.