Quad-speed 65-nm 10GBASE-T transceiver supports copper and fiber

May 8, 2008 -- Broadcom has introduced its BCM8481, a 10GBASE-T PHY transceiver designed to support 10-GbE operation over 100 m of Cat 6A UTP cabling. The PHY's pass-through XAUI interface mode allows optional connectivity to a fiber-optic module.

May 8, 2008 -- Broadcom has introduced its BCM8481, a 10GBASE-T physical layer (PHY) transceiver designed to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) operation over 100 meters of Category 6A UTP or Category 7 cabling.

The 10GBASE-T PHY supports auto-negotiation between four different Ethernet speeds (10/100/1000 Mbit/sec and 10 Gbit/sec), enabling compatibility with the installed base of Ethernet technology. Fabricated in 65-nm CMOS process technology, the company notes that the device is a single-chip/single-die platform, versus competitive products that require multiple chips.

According to Broadcom, the chip's integrated digital signal processor (DSP)-based architecture combines front-end with analog-to-digital converters, adaptive equalizers, phased locked loops, line drivers, low density parity check (LDPC) encoders and decoders, echo and crosstalk cancellers.

Further, the transceiver is optimized to enable switch, controller and other general 10-GbE connectivity applications, since it supports the 4-lane 3.125 Gbps XAUI interface that allows connectivity to 10-GbE media access controllers. One lane of the 4-lane XAUI interface is reserved to support the SGMII interface and lower speed 10/100/1000BASE-T operations.

Notably, the PHY includes a pass-through XAUI interface mode that allows optional connectivity to a fiber-optic module. Switching between copper and fiber media can be accomplished either automatically or through software control. Additionally, the BCM8481 monitors copper link and fiber detect status, and based on priorities set at initialization, automatically swaps either copper traffic or fiber traffic to the media access controller interface.

The BCM8481 10GBASE-T PHY transceiver is currently sampling to early access customers. Pricing is available upon request.

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