Broadcom accelerates deployment of 10-Gigabit Ethernet Xenpak modules with new test platform

May 2, 2002--Broadcom Corp.today announced a new platform that enables the nteroperability testing of 10-Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Xenpak modules. Broadcom's XBERT (Xenpak Bit Error Rate Testing) development platform is a fully operational board that incorporates two independent physical layer data channels to provide complete channel-to-channel testing of Xenpak-compliant fiber-optic transceiver modules.

May 2nd, 2002

Broadcom Corp.today announced a new platform that enables the nteroperability testing of 10-Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Xenpak modules. Broadcom's XBERT (Xenpak Bit Error Rate Testing) development platform is a fully operational board that incorporates two independent physical layer data channels to provide complete channel-to-channel testing of Xenpak-compliant fiber-optic transceiver modules.

The Xenpak modules provide the complete physical layer optical-to-electrical 10-Gbit/sec front-end in Local Area Network (LAN) and Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) equipment. A development platform specifically designed for Xenpak modules offers significant time-to-market savings for system designers, say Broadcom representatives. The company worked closely with key optical-fiber module partners in the development of the XBERT platform and recently demonstrated its operation at the Optical Fiber Conference in Anaheim, CA.

Broadcom develops high-speed, low-power CMOS solutions addressing the requirements of 10 GbE. The Broadcom BCM8702 10-GbE Serial to 10-Gigabit Attachment Unit Interface (XAUI) transceiver, combined with Broadcom's BCM8011 10 GbE XAUI to 10-Gigabit Media Independent Interface (XGMII) transceiver, provides an end-to-end connection, with seamless interoperability, claims the company. The BCM8702 was the first CMOS 10 GbE serial transceiver for Xenpak modules and is designed into the majority of Xenpak modules that are moving into production today. The BCM8011 was the first 10GbE XAUI/XGMII transceiver, say company representatives, and it provides the bridge to allow Xenpak modules to interface to lower-speed ASIC/MACs (application specific integrated circuits/media access controllers).

"A key issue facing system designers using Xenpak modules is the seamless interoperability between both the modules and their supporting electrical components used in LAN and MAN equipment, such as switches and routers," contends Marty Colombatto, vice president and general manager of Broadcom's Networking Business Unit. "By providing a method to test the interoperability between Xenpak modules from different manufacturers, Broadcom is aiding and speeding deployment of these next-generation modules. That, in turn, allows faster time to market of new leading-edge switch, router, server, and terminal products using Xenpak modules from a variety of vendors."

"JDS Uniphase has collaborated with Broadcom to demonstrate not only a complete physical layer solution for 10-Gigabit Ethernet systems, but also the interoperability of 10 GbE Xenpak modules," adds Dennis Karst, general manager, datacom products, JDS Uniphase Corp. "In doing so, we've demonstrated the hot pluggability of our 10 GbE Xenpak optical module with the XAUI interface using Broadcom's XBERT platform and the functional operation between our Xenpak 10 GbE modules and other supplier modules over 10 kilometers of SMF fiber-optic cable."

Other vendors who collaborated with Broadcom on this effort include Mitsubishi, OpNext, and Optillion.

The Xenpak module conforms to the proposed IEEE 802.ae 10-Gigabit Ethernet standard and is defined by the Xenpak Multi Source Agreement (MSA). Created to ease next-generation network integration, provide new levels of performance, and availability from multiple sources, the Xenpak MSA specifies a uniform form factor, size, connector type, and electrical pin-outs for four 10-GbE transceiver optical module types--850 nm serial, 1310 nm serial, 1310 nm WWDM and 1550 nm serial.

The XBERT platform utilizes Broadcom's 10-GbE expertise and is designed to support two independent 10-GbE channels, with each channel including a Xenpak module that connects to the BCM8011 via the XAUI interface in the serial transceiver. A FPGA/MAC is also included for generating and receiving IEEE 802.3ae test patterns across the XGMII interface to the BCM8011 to exercise worst case jitter (CJPAT) across the two channels for complete end-to-end testing. Error-free operation has been demonstrated using XBERT configured with the four Xenpak optical modules interoperating together with up to 10,000 meters of single-mode optical cable running for extended periods of time resulting in exceptional BER performance, claim company representatives.

The XBERT development platform is currently available and sampling. It is priced at $10,000 and includes the XBERT board, a user's guide, a complete set of schematics and applicable software.

For more information about Broadcom Corp. (Irvine, CA), visit the company's Web site at www.broadcom.com.

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