July 24, 2006 Ottawa and Santa Clara, CA -- Quake Technologies today announced the availability of the QT2035S, which it claims is the industry's first integrated physical layer IC for all SFP+ 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) applications. According to the company, the advanced signal processing technology in its chip will reduce the cost of 10G optics to less than a quarter the price of today's solutions.
The rapid growth of data-intensive applications and the broad adoption of Gigabit Ethernet have led to a greater demand for 10-GbE switch ports, uplinks, and server connections. However, despite the demand, 10 GbE still carries a significant price premium over Gigabit Ethernet. SFP+ pluggable optical modules are increasingly recognized as a technology necessary to bring the cost of 10 GbE more in line with that of Gigabit Ethernet.
"Today, the wholesale cost for a typical XFP module for short-reach 10G Ethernet is approximately $350," reports Mitch Kahn, Quake's vice president of marketing. "Using Quake's new QT2035S and SFP+ technology, the cost of a module for this same reach can be reduced to below $100. At this new price point, 10G Ethernet becomes very compelling for a range of high-volume applications," he says.
By reducing silicon in the optical modules to a minimum and through economies of scale between FibreChannel and Ethernet production volumes, the cost of SFP+ modules is significantly lower than larger form factors.
In order to facilitate the shift to SFP+, Quake says it has overcome the significant technological challenges associated with signal integrity at 10 Gbits/sec. These challenges require advanced signal-processing capabilities, and Quake's QT2035S is the first silicon device to integrate a standard XAUI-interface 10G Ethernet PHY with complete SFP+ signal processing support, report company representatives.
"The signal processing problem for SFP+ presents a significant challenge," notes Stan Blakey, Quake's director of product architecture. "For SFP+, the PHY must provide equalization not only for various grades of installed-base fiber, but also for circuit board impairments. The programmable Electronic Dispersion Compensation engine in our QT2035S device is the first solution to provide the performance headroom required in SFP+ applications."
"An additional benefit of the EDC performance of the QT2035S is that is allows us to use lower performance transmit optics, such as those for FibreChannel, and run them at 10G," adds Kahn. "The EDC engine compensates for the limited transmitter bandwidth; enabling over time a 10G short-reach SFP+ module with a cost very close to that of a FibreChannel SFP. At around $50, that's a 10x savings over today's technology," he says.
Quake demonstrated EDC compensated short-reach optics in conjunction with Picolight at Interop 2006. In the demonstration, a prototype linear 850-nm VCSEL-based SFP+ established an error-free 10-Gbit/sec link over more than a kilometer of multimode fiber.
"We're excited about the new capabilities enabled by SFP+," asserts Vidya Sharma, vice president of marketing for Picolight. "Smaller form factor, higher density, and lower power consumption advantages offered by SFP+ will greatly accelerate the adoption of 10-GbE in high-performance, high-density data center applications."