PLX achieves 300 m PoE reach over Cat6a with 10GBase-T transceivers

May 24, 2011
Power-over-Ethernet demonstration showcases the low-power capabilities of the company's 40nm PHY, based on Teranetics' acquired chip technology.

PLX Technology (NASDAQ: PLXT) announced that it has successfully demonstrated 10-Gbps Ethernet data and electrical transfer, in full compliance with the IEEE 802.3an standard, over a distance of 300 meters using typical, widely installed Cat6A unshielded twisted pair copper cable. The networking demonstration, enabled by PLX's Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) repeaters, utilizes the PLX 40 nm-based TN8022 dual-port 10GBase-T PHY transceiver chip.

"Although PoE technology has long been available for 1Gbps or slower Ethernet transceivers, the key take-away from this 10G PoE demonstration is that PLX 10GBase-T technology has reduced power dissipation to the point where it is now capable of PoE repeater utilization and, therefore, penetrating mainstream applications in ultra-long distance cabling environments," explains Ron Cates, PLX vice president of marketing, networking products. "PLX is working closely with all key networking market leaders to rapidly bring to fruition the inevitable evolution of 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the data center."

PoE technology is an IEEE standard that defines a system safely carrying electrical power, as well as data, over Ethernet cabling. Typical structured wiring rules limit Ethernet cable distances to 100 meters. PLX says the 300-meter reach of the TN8022 "is a testament to its robust DSP algorithm and superior analog front-end performance." Additionally, PLX notes that its third-generation PHY, the 40nm TN8000 family, dissipates less than four watts per port at a full 100 meters, and as little as two watts per port in short-reach mode. Additionally, TN8000 devices support triple-rate Ethernet (100M/1G/10G), which not only extends the shelf life of existing designs through backward compatibility, but also future-proofs new architectures.

PLX says in a press release that the "breakthrough distance achievement with low-cost Ethernet cabling brings new capabilities to IT managers seeking high-performance networking between multiple server rooms -- which, for example, may be located on different floors of a high-rise building or in a campus environment." PLX broke into the 10GBase-T equipment market via its Teranetics acquisition, and today claims to own more than 60 percent market share for 10GBase-T physical layer (PHY) devices. The company's PHY portfolio includes 40nm quad, dual and single port configurations that are now sampling.

"Extending 10GBase-T links to cover room-to-room and floor-to-floor distances, and providing power over existing Ethernet cables, should help accelerate adoption of the technology by equipment makers and IT managers who were previously forced to use optical fiber for these applications," comments Bob Wheeler, senior analyst at The Linley Group and co-author of the report A Guide to Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips. "PLX's demonstration of 10GBase-T surpassing 300 meters while providing Power over Ethernet cabling points to a technology that's poised to advance high-speed networking to the next level and drive market demand for 10G systems."


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