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Vativ rolls out transceivers, eyes interconnects

Posted: 12 Mar 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:vativ technologies? m5 bp? gigabit transceiver? serdes? backplane transceiver?

Vativ Technologies Inc. is sampling the first member of a planned family of transceivers for copper-based networks operating at rates of 2.5Gbps and above.

The M5-BP interface is intended for backplane applications supporting data rates of 6.25Gbps, though Vativ also plans to expand into box-to-box interconnects.

The company's expertise lies in DSP design, using digital blind-adaptive equalization in the receive channel to allow optimal jitter performance even when trace lengths on a board change.

Sreen Raghavan, CEO of Vativ Technologies, said no pre-emphasis at the transceiver is necessary when proprietary Vativ modulation is used. The M5-BP's receiver automatically adjusts adaptive equalization coefficients to counter intersymbol interference encountered in PCB traces, Raghavan said.

Vativ was founded in June 2001 as Myrica Networks Inc., and changed its name in late 2002. Redpoint Ventures led a first round of funding that brought the company $16.7 million. Vativ has applied for six patents on its modulation techniques, and now has 21 employees with former ties to Comcore, Comstream, Conexant, Newport, and other area baseband specialists. Ninety percent of Vativ's workers are in engineering positions.

In early tests, Vativ's transceivers have proved capable of driving signals of 6Mbps over more than 1.5m of FR-4 traces, and 10Gbps signals up to 1m. An improved SNR within the channel allows the use of longer traces, less exotic trace materials, and lower-cost backplane connectors, the company said.

Even though modulation is proprietary on the PHY, Raghavan emphasized that Vativ's interconnects work with common backplane interface specs like the High-Speed Backplane Initiative, as well as higher-layer, long-range interconnects like PCI Express and RapidIO.

The M5-BP transceiver offers 4 bits per baud of modulation efficiency. The modulation method integrates forward-error-correction algorithms for improved SNR channel specs. Vativ will announce pricing of standalone chips when the devices are in production later this year. The company will offer evaluation boards with early samples of the M5-BP in Q2.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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