6 October 2003 San Jose, CA Lightwave--Five major IC companies including Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC), International Business Machines (IBM), Infineon Technologies, Texas Instruments, and Xilinx, today announced the creation of the Unified 10-Gbit/sec Physical-Layer Initiative (UXPi), a program of the IEEE-ISTO. The goal of UXPi is to advocate a common 10-Gbit/sec physical-layer standard across multiple markets, to simplify and accelerate the implementation of next generation 10-Gbit/sec systems. A common physical standard will allow developers to significantly reduce the costs and risks normally associated with developing next generation systems.
The work of UXPi will complement ongoing and upcoming standardization efforts by other industry bodies such as the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF). "10-Gbit/sec interfaces will form the basis for future high-bandwidth connections in chip-to-chip, chip-to-optical module and backplane applications. As a leader in the standardization of interfaces, OIF supports the expansion of interoperability benefits," said Joe Berthold, president of OIF. "What UXPi is proposing is consistent with the OIF CEI project. These promoting companies are all members of the OIF and have been strong contributors to the CEI project. We look forward to collaborating with UXPi in working towards our mutual goals."
The broad industry trend toward serial connectivity is being driven as a means to reduce system costs, simplify system design, and provide scalability to meet new bandwidth requirements. Today, standard bodies are defining 3.125 Gbit/sec, and 5 to 6 Gbit/sec, and 10-Gbit/sec serial standards. As these bodies begin to solidify 10-Gbit/sec communication standards, the need for a unified, compatible physical layer is critical. A common standard will address challenges such as more severe attenuation and signal interference, which arise as 10-Gbit/sec digital signaling enters the RF domain. And just as important, will ensure interoperability across multiple markets and products.
"Whether in enterprise or carrier applications, it's clear that the market for serial interfaces has great price elasticity: lower costs can stimulate demand. From the eyes of system vendors, standards are desirable in that they enable multiple component vendors, control costs, and mitigate supplier risk," said Allan Armstrong, director of communications semiconductors at analyst firm RHK, Inc. "Combining the forces of five industry leaders, the UXPi consortium plans to focus the industry on 10-Gbit/sec interface standards and drive multiple market segments to a common vision."
UXPi is laying the groundwork for common 10-Gbit/sec standard by solidifying the physical/electrical layer of the 10-Gbit/sec chip-to-chip and backplane interface - participating in, supporting, and supplementing the efforts of standards bodies, which are often more focused on their respective markets and on defining the upper, logical/digital layers of the 10-Gbit/sec standards. The efforts of UXPi will enable standards bodies to focus on developing the protocols necessary to serve the unique needs of their respective markets, rather than focusing on the lower layers defining and testing a 10-Gbit/sec physical standard.
UXPi is organized as a program under the IEEE-ISTO, which provides a legal and administrative platform on which UXPi operations can progress. UXPi plans to work with numerous contributing and adopting companies to develop, refine and make the specification available.