First 40nm Thunderbird active cable chips sample
May 09, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
Intersil has started sampling the first 40nm chips for the 20Gbit/s Thunderbird active cable specification.
Intersil’s active cable system solution includes the 40nm ISL37231 active cable IC and the ISL80083 companion power management IC. This chipset breaks the cost barrier to widespread adoption with the integration of key components such as microcontroller, input rail selector, level shifters and eye monitor. The two chip solution consumes less than 450mW and eliminates expensive heat sinking required by alternative solutions and permits smaller connector housings on each end of the Thunderbolt cable.
Using 40nm reduces standby power consumption by as much as 50% and patent-pending cable compensation techniques allow cable manufacturers to use inexpensive bulk cable with enhanced yield. Built-In Test (BIST) eliminates expensive and time consuming manual testing by integrating an embedded processor, PRBS generator and error checker.
As data rates in cables reach 10Gbps and beyond, the physical properties of thin cables cause significant signal impairment. In order to correct for signal impairment, complex high-speed transceiver ICs must be located within the connectors at each end of a cable. The Thunderbolt ‘active cable’ specification - developed by Intel and used by Apple - is the first consumer examples of this trend which will become prevalent for high-speed interconnections in the coming years.
Intersil’s solution provides two bi-directional channels with an aggregate transfer rate of 20Gbps. Users can easily interconnect Thunderbolt-enabled products with a single thin cable, and daisy-chain up to six devices.
“We’ve set the stage for an unprecedented low price point for Thunderbolt cable,” said Roger Levinson, vice president & general manager for Intersil’s signal path products group. “This will promote the simple, high-speed interconnection of peripherals that lead to enhanced digital experiences. Our 40nm technology reduces the cost of every variable in the cable manufacturing process, enabling the widespread adoption of Thunderbolt technology.”
The ISL37231 provides the industry’s lowest power and highest performance for a broad range of inexpensive cable types including Shielded Twisted Pair (STP), Twinax and Microcoax. Media optimized adaptive equalization, de-emphasis and signal retiming increase the robustness of inexpensive links that would otherwise be unreliable with simple retiming solutions.
As an integrated mini-Power Management IC (mini‐PMIC), the ISL80083 is purpose-built to efficiently power the ISL37231 transceiver in Thunderbolt cables. The ISL80083 integrates a highly efficient 2.5MHz synchronous buck regulator, low power linear regulator, level shifters and input rail selector, and also contributes to a much lower solution cost.
Devices are being sampled now to selected customers.
Optimized RF Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) drives monolithic integration of multi-band radios
June 19, 2013
STMicroelectronics has developed a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) CMOS process that can integrate all the RF functions of multi-band ...
Fully certified FlexRay transceiver enables ESD robust in-vehicle communication
IoT will be next silver screen, says media exec
Hard drives to hit billion-dollar mark by 2017 in video-surveillance applications, says IHS
Li-ion energy storage technology helps make smart grid for Pellworm Island even smarter
Data Fusion: the next frontier of software integration
June 19, 2013
In the last few years, the functionality of our mobile devices has come so far that consumers now treat them more like personal ...
“Prototype to Production”, the new Digi-Key trademark
STMicro signs memory design agreement with Rambus
X-FAB optimizes 180nm process for portable analog applications
InterviewSilica moves to fast lane in Europe's LED market
In the booming market for LED lighting, electronics distributor Silica intends to lead the pack by offering technological excellence at application level. The company is currently planning to offer tailor-made ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
The SoCKIT evaluation kit is Arrow's latest development tool, featuring an Altera Cyclone V SoC with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor integrated within its 28nm FPGA fabric.
Altera SoCs allow embedded system developers to differentiate their end product with customized hardware and software, and extend the product lifecycle through hardware and software updates in the field. This month, Arrow Electronics is giving away five SoCKIT evaluation kits featuring Altera’s ARM-Based SoCs, worth €249 each, together with the free entrance to one of Arrow’s SoC workshops organized throughout Europe.
And the winners are...
In our previous reader offer, Freescale Semiconductor was giving away five IMX6Q, Sabre-lite kits, worth £128.06 each.
Lucky winners include Mr. X. Salada Sole from the UK, Mrs A. Peric from Germany, Mr Z. Janosy from Hungary, Mr D. Gacina from Croatia and Mr B. Boris from France. All should be receiving their packages soon. Let's wish them some interesting findings with their projects.
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.