June 25, 2008 -- XLoom Communications (www.xloomcom.com) and Fulcrum Microsystems (www.fulcrummicro.com) have demonstrated a new 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) optical interface option aimed at data center and HPC customers looking to extend the limited reaches of traditional, bulky CX4 copper cables.
XLoom has integrated its AVDAT 4XTM optical connectors into Fulcrum's 24-port 10-GbE Ethernet platform, in a reference design dubbed "Reno." The AVDAT 4X, CX4 optical connector is drop-in compatible with Fulcrum's existing CX4 form-factor; the companies say the merging of technologies requires no board redesign.
The Reno design describes a fully integrated platform for the evaluation of Fulcrum's low-latency FocalPoint switch chips; the platform incorporates (24) 10-GbE connectors and is capable of sustaining full 10-Gbit/sec per-port line rate on all ports simultaneously. A new mezzanine card for the Reno platform will feature twelve AVDAT 4X optical connectors for data rates of 10-Gbit/sec per link that support more than 200 m of reach using a multimode fiber ribbon.
"We are proud to be able to partner with Fulcrum and provide OEMs and Ethernet switch vendors with the versatile and cost-competitive optical link solution," comments Gidi Klein, vice president of product marketing for XLoom Communications. "We are finding that the demand for better cable management and extended reaches are driving the need for our AVDAT 4X-based products, which allows our customers to just plug it in and go."
"We are excited to team up with XLoom to provide our customers with a unique optical interconnect solution," adds Bud Noren, Fulcrum's senior product line manager. "XLoom's AVDAT 4X optical connector is a unique addition to our Reno reference design, as it requires no board redesign for OEMs and switch vendors that leverage our CX4-based reference designs."
XLoom's AVDAT 4X is a highly compact four-lane optical transceiver, having footprint and contact-pattern compatible with the 10GBASE-CX4 standard. The company says the transceiver is ideal for use in 10G Ethernet switches to extend link distances to more than 200 m, compared with only a few meters supported by standard copper cables. The AVDAT 4X also supports InfiniBand SDR (10 Gbit/sec per link) and DDR (20 Gbit/sec per link), as well as Fibre Channel switches.