Marvell bridges fiber optic and copper networks with Ethernet-over- copper transceiver

Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL), a developer of broadband mixed-signal and digital signal processing technology solutions and provider of integrated circuit communications solutions, announced that it has bridged fiber optic and copper networks with the introduction of the smallest form factor Gigabit Ethernet-over-copper transceiver.

Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL), a developer of broadband mixed-signal and digital signal processing technology solutions and provider of integrated circuit communications solutions, announced that it has bridged fiber optic and copper networks with the introduction of the smallest form factor Gigabit Ethernet-over-copper transceiver.

The new 117-pin Thin Fine Ball Grid Array (TFBGA) Alaska Gigabit Ethernet-over- copper transceiver, the latest product to be introduced in Marvell's Alaska transceiver family, allows the linkage of high-speed fiber optic networks with existing copper networks at 1 Gigabit per second (1Gb/s) data rates. The new Alaska transceiver includes a built-in 1.25 GHz serializer/deserializer, or SERDES function, which allows the 117-pin copper device to directly interface with standard Gigabit fiber-optic modules making it possible to extend legacy optical networks with the latest technology. Marvell's new device implements these functions in a single chip as opposed to the 2 to 3 chips currently required, providing manufacturers with a significant cost reduction for Gigabit media conversion.

Marvell's single chip solution for Gigabit media conversion also helps enable a new Gigabit Ethernet industry application: the 1000BASE-T Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC). The GBIC, a hot-swappable, plug-and-play, single-port module used in today's Gigabit-over-fiber applications, offers the user and/or systems manufacturer flexibility in the selection of media type (short or long wavelength optics) to support required cabling distances. The Gigabit Ethernet-over-copper GBIC requires three critical features that have not been available in a single chip transceiver solution. These critical features, which are provided by Marvell's latest Alaska transceiver, include low power dissipation, a 4-pin 1.25 GHz SERDES and a small package outline. The 1000BASE-T GBIC module now enables the transmission of gigabit data rates over existing CAT5 cabling infrastructures. This solution offers end users their choice of media type (copper and/or fiber), allowing for increased flexibility in building custom networking systems.

Marvell's 117-lead TFBGA Alaska plus SERDES device features body package dimensions of 10x14 mm, or 140mm2 PC board (PCB) real estate, significantly reducing space on the PCB by as much as 80% as compared to existing devices on the market today. The small outline package is less than the width of an RJ45 connector, making it the smallest package Gigabit Ethernet transceiver currently available. This allows for even higher port count Gigabit Ethernet-over-copper switches whereby the RJ45 connectors can be positioned adjacent to one another.

Marvell's Alaska and Alaska plus SERDES devices were designed and fabricated using 0.18 micron CMOS process technology. The Alaska transceivers operate at all three data rates currently defined by the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard: 1000 Mbps, 100Mbps and 10 Mbps. Products based on the Alaska device, which implements the IEEE 802.3u compliant Auto-Negotiation function, will offer a true plug-and-play system enabling backward compatibility to the installed base of 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet and 10 Mbps Ethernet networks. The device, using mixed-signal/digital signal processing and power management techniques, achieves power dissipation of only 1.8 Watts.

Marvell's Alaska PHY transceivers use DSP architecture, advanced mixed-signal processing and high-speed digital circuit technology to implement digital adaptive equalization, echo cancellation, cross-talk cancellation, digital timing recovery, line driver support, encoders, and decoders. Marvell's analog-to-digital converters result in robust performance in noisy environments with the added feature of low power dissipation.

Marvell's mixed-signal and DSP design techniques result in high differential/integral linearity, high power supply noise rejection and low error rates. Transmitting and receiving data simultaneously on all four pairs of cable, the Alaska chip achieves 2 gigabits per second data throughput.

The Alaska family of Gigabit Ethernet transceivers leverages technology developed through four generations of PRML read channels designed for the data storage market as well as Marvell's field-proven Fast Ethernet physical layer devices. Marvell's Alaska Gigabit Ethernet transceiver is designed to meet the demands of robust networking systems where high performance and low power are absolutely necessary.

Marvell's 117-pin Alaska (88E1010) and Alaska plus SERDES (88E1010S) devices are available today.

About Marvell:

Marvell is comprised of 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 develops proprietary Communications Mixed-Signal Processing (CMSP) technology for increased information capacity of data storage and data communications products.

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