Analog Devices' quad multiplexer eases switching challenges

February 25, 2005 Norwood, MA -- Analog Devices (ADI), a provider of semiconductors for signal processing applications, has introduced its AD8159 special-purpose switch. The company says the device, configured as a quad multiplexer/demultiplexer supporting data rates up to 3.2 Gbit/sec., is ideally suited for the protocols of storage, enterprise, metro, and core networking applications, including Fibre Channel, SATA, SONET, and Ethernet.

February 25, 2005 Norwood, MA -- Analog Devices (ADI), a provider of semiconductors for signal processing applications, has introduced a switching platform designed specifically to address 10 Gigabit Ethernet Attachment Unit Interface (XAUI) port redundancy. The latest addition to the company's X-stream platform, its AD8159 special-purpose switch is configured as a quad multiplexer/demultiplexer that supports data rates up to 3.2 Gbit/sec. According to the company, the device is ideally suited for the protocols of storage, enterprise, metro, and core networking applications, including Fibre Channel, SATA, SONET, and Ethernet.

"Prior to the AD8159, designers of high-end switches and routers had to handle switching redundancy by building it into to the switch fabric ASICs, putting a greater burden on an already overtaxed I/O bandwidth," explains Jay Cormier, product line director for linear products, Analog Devices. "The AD8159 provides designers with an efficient high-speed redundancy solution. Additionally, with its extensive signal integrity features, the device can tackle the toughest backplane environments."

According to the company, by placing switching functions outside of the ASIC, the switch dramatically increases the ASIC's efficiency, freeing up bandwidth previously dedicated to redundancy.

In addition to providing high-speed switching, the company says the device offers a number of features that simplify system design, including programmable receive equalization and transmit pre-emphasis, to assure high levels of signal integrity over the long distances data must travel along the backplane of a modular system, and loopback capabilities to assist in system diagnostics.

The switch consists of a two-port multiplexer and a two-port demultiplexer. Each port is a 4-lane link, where each lane operates at up to 3.2 Gbit/sec independent of the other lanes. There are a total of 12 differential positive emitter coupled logic/current mode logic (PECL/CML) compatible inputs and 12 differential CML outputs. The device's operation is optimized for non-return to zero (NRZ) data rates up to 3.2 Gbit/sec per lane.

The switch has low power dissipation, typically 1 W at 3.3 V with output pre-emphasis and input equalization active on all lanes. In addition, one port on the switch allows reversal of transmit and receive pins to allow for greater routing flexibility. Controlled and configured through simple control pins, the AD8159 requires no CPU interface.

The AD8159 is sampling now and will be available in August 2005, packaged in a 100-lead thin quad flat pack (TQFP) and priced at $11.95 per unit in 1000-piece quantities.

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