New crosspoint switches accelerate backplanes

Dec. 19, 2003
19 December 2003 Camarillo, CA Lightwave -- Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. has unveiled a pair of crosspoint switches that the company claims sets a new record for the highest density switches on the market. The eight-port VSC3108 delivers 0.8 Tbits of switching capacity per square millimeter of board space.

19 December 2003 Camarillo, CA Lightwave -- Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. has unveiled a pair of crosspoint switches that the company claims sets a new record for the highest density switches on the market. The eight-port VSC3108 delivers 0.8 Tbits of switching capacity per square millimeter of board space.

The VSC3104 is a four-port version of the same product. Both come in an 8-mm-square package and operate at data rates up to 6.5 Gbits/sec.

The crosspoint switches should prove particularly useful in systems for digital video, Internet commerce, and data storage. Vitesse says the devices provide a "solder and go" solution for system implementation improvements, including preventing data loss, correcting distortion, decreasing component size, and increasing speed.

"Vitesse crosspoint switches add value while reducing space consumption and costs for our customers," says Gary McCormack, Vitesse's circuit switch product line director.

The reliability and signal integrity of the VSC3108 and VSC3104 benefit from Vitesse's advanced equalization capability. All of the chips' functions are independent of data rate, require no re-tuning as operating conditions change, and have no need for a clock. These switches take a fixed rate design and transform it into an "any-rate solution" that is both forward and backward compatible, allowing developers to upgrade current generation equipment or create next-generation systems for storage, enterprise, and metro applications.

At $3 per port, the VSC3108 is priced competitively against less capable alternatives and at a significantly lower cost than PLL-based products, Vitesse says.

Both products have multiple purposes such as fan-out, loop-back, and protection switching; and both come in 8x8 mm, 69-pin CBGA packages with 500-psec latency for minimal impact when board space and timing budgets are limited. The VSC3108 (8x8) and VSC3104 (4x4) are available today for production shipments, and are priced at $24 and $16 per unit, respectively.

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