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Mysticom retimer chips achieve new levels of integration for CX4 and LX4 apps

Mountain View, Calif. — Mysticom Semiconductor today announced a pair of new retimer chips incorporating its third generation 10GbE transceiver technology. Designated MY3128 for 10GBase-CX4 applications and MY3129 for 10GBase-LX4 applications, the new chips tout the industry's highest levels of integration, which translates to fewer components, lower costs and shorter development cycles for systems designers. These 12mm x 12mm 196 pin BGA packaged chips are the industry's smallest footprint, greatly facilitating space constrained designs like X2 modules.

“We have greatly simplified our customer's Xenpak and X2 module design efforts by requiring fewer external components and shrinking the chip's footprint by 36% compared to other solutions”, said Bob Frostholm, vice president sales & marketing. “This is particularly important for LX4 applications in X2 and smaller form factors where the PHY chip must coexist with bulky transmit and receive optical subssemblies (TOSA, ROSA), that include quad laser drivers, four trans-impedance amplifiers, and optical mux/demux. Mysticom's unique architecture allows the device to use a very low-power, low-cost 62.5MHz oscillator. The MY3129's vastly improved sensitivity of the receive channels eliminates the need for external Limiting Amplifiers, making it the most integrated solution available.”

According to Jag Bolaria, senior analyst with The Linley Group, “While 10GBase-T proponents sort out the myriad of technical issues surrounding cost, power and performance, 10GBase-CX4 should establish a strong foothold as the low cost copper interconnect for 10GbE. Additionally, short haul optical interconnect is required in the Enterprise and will continue to fuel the demand for 10GBase-LX4.”

About MY3128 and MY3129
The MY3128 continues Mysticom's award winning “Module-in-a-Chip” concept. Incorporating the industry's highest levels of integration, the chip also employs a Channel Swap capability which allows the user to maintain all high-speed signals on a single PC layer, regardless of connector configurations. This reduces the entire PCB requirement to just four layers, further lowering overall system cost.

The MY3129 is optimized for small form factor X2 optical LX4 modules, integrating MSA registers and advanced digital optical monitoring (DOM) capabilities. Featuring low-power dissipation of less than 500 mW per core, users can be assured of meeting their customer's strict end-of-life power specifications. The device has a real-time signal
quality indicator (SQI), a powerful system tool for real-time performance and power consumption optimization.

10GBase-LX4 is the only technology proven to support 10 GbE over legacy 300 m of installed 62.5 micron, 500 MHz km multimode fiber. Based on the MY3129 performance advances, optical module suppliers are now able to meet the price demands of major OEMs.

The MY3128 is priced at $51 in sample quantities. MY3129 is priced at $60 in sample quantities. Samples will be available late Q1 '05, and production volume will begin in Q2 of 2005

Mountain View, Calif. — Mysticom Semiconductor has introduced a pair of new retimer chips for Xenpak, X2 and XFP modules that incorporates its third generation 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) transceiver technology. The new chips — the MY3128 designed for 10GBase-CX4 over Infiniband cable and the MY3129 designed for10GBase-LX4 over multimode fiber — tout the highest levels of integration and industry's smallest footprint. For systems designers, this means fewer components, lower costs and shorter development cycles.

These new retimer chips, based on Mysticom's Module-in-a-Chip concept, offer significant improvements over second-generation parts. The most significant enhancements include a small 12 x 12-mm footprint, and a channel swap capability that reduces board layer count. In addition, the design of the MY3129 chip eliminates the need for limiting amplifiers typically found in the optics module, and offers significantly lower power dissipation.

Each chip integrates a 10 GbE core, each containing four channels; a Xenpack block including the digital optical monitoring (DOM) for the MY3129, and PLL multiplier circuitry. The architecture supports the use of a low power, low-cost 62.5 MHz oscillator.

MY3128 Block Diagram
(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Bob Frostholm, vice president of sales and marketing for Mysticom, said these new retimer chips have simplified Xenpak and X2 module design efforts by reducing the number of external components required and shrinking the chip's footprint by 36% compared to other solutions.

The smaller footprint is particularly important for LX4 applications in X2 form factors because the available PC-board space is about 1 x 3 inches. Frostholm said this board is packed with the PHY chip, and optical subassemblies including optical mux/demux devices, quad laser drivers and four trans-impedance amplifiers as well as other external components, so it's an extremely tight design. The smaller footprint frees up board space and allows designers more flexibility in how they layout their boards, he said.

MY3129 Block Diagram
(Click on Image to Enlarge)

The MY3129, which is optimized for small form factor X2 optical LX4 modules, integrates MSA registers and advanced DOM capabilities. The device also features a real-time signal quality indicator (SQI), a system tool for real-time performance and power consumption optimization. In addition, it features the lowest available power dissipation of less than 500 milliwatts (mW) per core, with total power dissipation in the neighborhood of 900 mW, to meet end-of-life power specifications.

LX4 modules require a total power dissipation of less than 4 watts at end of life, and as optics degrade over time, power consumption increases, explained Frostholm. “Until now it has been difficult to achieve lower dissipation because the optics used in the LX4 modules are power-hungry devices, but with advances in optics and silicon we're able to ensure any module maker that uses our silicon to hit that difficult point of sub-4-watt power dissipation at end of life,” he said.

In addition, Mysticom has redesigned the MY3129's receive front ends to reduce their sensitivity levels down to about 20 to 25 millivolts, which eliminates the need for four external limiting amplifiers. “There are four limiting amplifiers that buffer the signal from the optics on the receive channel to the receive side of the retimer and by increasing the receive sensitivity of the chips, we were able to eliminate the need for those limiting amplifiers, which translates into a more simplified design as well as fewer components required,” Frostholm said.

Both chips features a channel swap capability that allows the user to maintain all high-speed signals on a single PC-board layer, regardless of connector configurations. This reduces the entire PC-board requirement to four layers, from six layers typically needed for current designs, to lower overall system cost. “We reduced the size of the package and reconfigured ports 0 to 3 to better align with the configurations of various connectors in the marketplace,” Frostholm said.

“This allows customers to keep all of their high-speed signals on a single plane on the PC-board and eliminate the need for additional traces, and therefore reduce the board layers from six to four, and that translates into cost savings for the end users,” Frostholm said.

Mysticom also offers complete design services, where the company provides a portion or all of their customers' board layout and subsystem design work. This gives them a faster time to market as well as a board that is fully optimized for their 10 Gigabit design, said Amir Bar Niv, director of applications.

Packaged in a 196-pin BGA with a 0.8-mm pitch, the MY3128 is priced at $51 and the MY3129 is priced at $60, both in sample quantities. Samples will be available late in first quarter 2005. Production volume will begin in the second quarter of 2005.

Call (650) 210-8080
www.mysticom.com

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