Active copper interconnects target supercomputer apps

November 12, 2007 -- Quellan and Gore have released a line of "active" cables designed to provide extended reach over thinner, lighter copper cabling for high-performance computing (HPC), enterprise server, and storage applications.

November 12, 2007 -- W. L. Gore & Associates and Quellan Inc. have collaborated to develop the Gore Extended Reach Cable Assemblies, a line of "active" cables designed to provide extended reach over thinner, lighter copper cabling for high-performance computing (HPC), enterprise server, and storage applications. The cables are designed to address next generation protocols such as InfiniBand, 10-GbE and 8G Fibre Channel.

The products are constructed with Gore's EYE-OPENER+ conductor technology, which provides distributed equalization to minimize signal degradation, while integrating the Quellan Q:ACTIVE silicon technology that reduces jitter, crosstalk and other signal impairments. When using this cabling technology, a system can carry up to 480 Gbit/sec of bandwidth to and from a single 1RU rack at distances of up to 15 meters, contends the companies.

The extended reach cable assemblies are designed to eliminate the need for optical interconnects. For supercomputer applications, the companies have introduced an active 12x DDR InfiniBand cable, capable of carrying 60 Gbit/sec over 10 meters in a single link and measuring 8 mm in diameter. For high density data center switching, the companies' active QSFP cable handles 35 Gbit/sec of data over 15 meters. For high density blade servers and stackables, the companies' active SFP+ cable provides a reach of 10 meters.

"These products will be important elements in next generation data centers and complement the existing Gore Extended Reach DDR InfiniBand Cable Assemblies currently being installed in HPC systems worldwide. This new portfolio of products promises to liberate system architects by expanding boundaries for optimal system layouts," comments Eric Gaver, global business leader for Gore's high data rate cabling products. "The combined effects of Gore and Quellan technologies deliver the best value in cable interconnect bandwidth, distance, density and power while minimizing risk."

"Data center cable management and power consumption are becoming increasingly critical," adds Tony Stelliga, Quellan's chairman and CEO. "By removing cable impairments and attenuation with active low power analog silicon, thinner, lighter and longer cabling can be used. This reduces weight, increases room for airflow and saves power by avoiding the need for optics. We are delighted to be working with Gore and to showcase this capability in their cabling products."

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