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It is rocket science

Multi gigabit transceivers exploit distortion for their own gains. By Philip Ling.

Transfer rates across a backplane are on the up, there's no questioning that. Whilst the hardware struggles to maintain 'line speed' performance, the line speed just keeps increasing. It seems there really are no barriers to how fast signals can be transmitted over copper.

That's a slight exaggeration, of course, but the reality is there are a number of ways to sustain increases in transfer rates across a backplane. Xilinx implemented multi gigabit transceivers in its Virtex-II Pro X products using embedded versions of its RocketIO transceivers which, in conjunction with its RocketPHY devices, enabled compliant solutions for Sonet, Fiberchannel and Ethernet systems from the optical module through the backplane, from 622Mbit/s to 10Gbit/s.

It's all part of what Xilinx calls its 'serial Tsunami' initiative. This is founded on RocketIO technology, developed by RocketChips – the company acquired by Xilinx two years ago. Today, a dedicated R&D team in the communications technology division is wholly focused on improving, developing and delivering the capabilities that make up the serial Tsunami vision.

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Graham Pitcher

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