Quad-channel signal conditioner IC from Vitesse streamlines low power serial connectivity in 10 Gigabit Ethernet, PCIe Gen 3 data centers

Sept. 30, 2010
Vitesse notes that its VSC7111 is among the first IC semiconductor chips to support the PCIe Gen 3 8G protocol for the server market.

CAMARILLO, Calif. -- Vitesse Semiconductor, a provider of integrated circuit (IC) technology for Carrier and Enterprise networks, announced the availability of the VSC7111, an 11.5-Gbps quad-channel signal conditioner. The chip, according to the company, sets benchmark power/performance levels for next-generation data center and network design deploying protocols such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) and PCIe Gen 3.

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Vitesse notes that the VSC7111 is among the first IC chip solutions to support the PCIe Gen 3 8G protocol for the server market. With an integrated PCIe receiver detect state machine the IC also maintains compatibility with earlier Gen 1 and Gen 2 protocols. Vitesse recently completed interoperability testing with Agilent Technologies to ensure full compatibility with all PCIe protocols.

“Agilent provides PCI Express 3.0 tools with the flexibility to test and debug all aspects of our customer’s devices,” said Ross Nelson, general manager of Digital Debug Solutions at Agilent Technologies. “In this case, our PCI Express Exerciser, with its configurable Transmitter settings, allowed us to demonstrate that the VSC7111 from Vitesse, with its FlexEQ adaptive equalizer, was able to successfully maintain the PCI Express Gen 3 link even under stressful conditions simulated by Agilent’s tester.”

According to IDC, about half of a data center’s budget is used for power and cooling of its networking equipment. In addition, equipment and link aggregation in data centers is escalating power dissipation to ever higher levels. This creates a huge burden on its cost-of-ownership and reliability. The VSC7111 lowers 10G power dissipation levels by 35% over competitive chips, claims Vitesse. Additional energy efficiency at 5G and lower data rates can be achieved by utilizing Vitesse’s Green Mode power management technology.

The VSC7111 offers adaptive signal equalization capabilities for transmitting multi-gigabit data signals across printed circuit boards, through backplane connectors, and over copper cabling used in networking and storage systems. Proprietary FlexEQ adaptive equalization technology advances high-speed signal integrity performance. By automatically compensating for signal loss characteristics, FlexEQ facilitates high speed interconnect design and improves system performance by making data links more stable and predictable in their behavior, says Vitesse. The VSC7111 also offers operation with predefined modes for signal fanout and signal protection without the need for an external controller.

The VSC7111 operates on a single 2.5V supply with a typical power dissipation of 476mW in low power Green Mode and is available in an ultra-compact 5mm x 5mm, 32-pin, QFN package. Samples are available now and volume pricing is available upon request.

More product information can be found at www.vitesse.com/products/product.php?number=VSC7111.

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