Marvell announces a quad-port transceiver to support copper and fiber-optic gigabit ethernet interfaces

Marvell (NASDAQ:MRVL), a developer of extreme broadband DSP-based mixed-signal integrated circuits for communications signal processing markets, announced a fully integrated, quad-port Gigabit Ethernet transceiver to support IEEE-defined 10/100/1000BASE-T copper and 1000BASE-SX/LX fiber-optic Gigabit Ethernet interfaces in a single device.

With the latest addition to the Marvell Alaska family, the Alaska Quad+ Gigabit Ethernet transceiver offers a quad-port device with built-in Gigabit serializer/deserializer (SERDES), providing flexibility in the selection of copper or fiber-optic interfaces on a per port basis. This is an important feature since many Gigabit Switches contain a subset of gigabit fiber interfaces to serve as the link to the server, the corporate backbone or even as a long-distance extension beyond the LAN. The Marvell Alaska Quad+ transceiver is the only quad-port Gigabit solution available today that enables high speed data communications for copper-based LANs and fiber-optic-based MANs, SANs and WANs.

The Marvell Alaska Quad+ PHY transceiver, in fiber-optic mode, is the first quad-port 1000BASE-SX/LX Gigabit transceiver to incorporate the Ethernet-defined Gigabit Media Independent Interface (GMII). The device also supports the latest Marvell/HP-defined Reduced Gigabit Media Independent Interface (RGMII) specification allowing for reduced system cost and design complexity. With the industry's first implementation of RGMII for fiber-optic Gigabit networks, Input/Output (I/O) pin count is reduced by more than 50%, from 25 to 12 pins per port.

Leveraging Marvell's advanced DSP-based mixed-signal technology and power management techniques, the Alaska Quad+ PHY transceiver in 10/100/1000BASE-T copper mode achieves ultra low power dissipation of just over 1 Watt per port. In the 1000BASE-SX/LX fiber-optic mode, the Alaska Quad+ devices consume less than 250mW per port. By offering low power dissipation, the Alaska Quad+ PHY transceiver provides higher port count Gigabit Switches (up to 48 ports) for high-speed mixed-media data communications.

"For example, a 24-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch configured with twenty-two 10/100/1000BASE-T copper ports and two 1000BASE-SXA fiber ports requires the use of only six Alaska Quad+ devices to implement the physical layer. Further, with the high integration and low power consumption of the Alaska Quad+ PHY transceiver, even higher port count mixed-media Gigabit Switches are now possible (up to 48 ports per line card)," stated Weili Dai, Marvell's Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Data Communications Group.

The Marvell Alaska Quad+ Gigabit Ethernet transceivers are single-chip monolithic CMOS devices each integrating four independent mixed-media Gigabit Ethernet transceivers. In copper mode, each transceiver performs all of the physical layer interface functions for 100/1000BASE-T Ethernet over Category 5 (CAT 5) twisted pair cable, and 10BASE-T Ethernet over CAT 3, 4 and 5 cable. The device performs PAM5, 8B/10B, 4B/5B, MLT3, NRZI, and Manchester encoding/decoding; digital clock/data recovery; stream cipher scrambling/descrambling; digital adaptive equalization for the receive data path, as well as digital filtering for pulse shaping of the line transmitter; Auto-Negotiation; and management functions.

In fiber-optic mode, the Alaska Quad+ device is compliant with the IEEE 802.3z specification. The device contains a PECL interface for connection to standard gigabit fiber-optic modules. The MAC/PHY interface options include GMII, RGMII, TBI, and RTBI. When in fiber-optic mode, the Alaska Quad+ PHY transceiver performs 8B/10B encoding and decoding per channel and operates in full-duplex mode.

The Marvell Alaska Quad+ Gigabit Ethernet over copper transceiver is priced at $125 in 1K sample quantities.

About Marvell:

Marvell comprises Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MTGL) and its subsidiaries, Marvell Semiconductor Inc. (MSI), Marvell Asia Pte Ltd. (MAPL) and Marvell Japan K.K. (MJKK). On behalf of MTGL, MSI designs, develops and markets integrated circuits utilizing proprietary Communications Mixed-Signal Processing (CMSP) and digital signal processing technologies for communications signal processing markets.

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