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BroadLight unveils quad-channel GPON controller

Posted: 01 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:quad-channel gigabit PON controller? GPON controller? media-access control blocks?

BroadLight Inc. has increased its optical-line termination solution by a power of four, with the introduction of a quad-channel gigabit passive optical network (GPON) controller. The BL3458 combines a control-plane MIPS Technologies core with four media-access control blocks and four associated classifier-header engines.

The follow-on to the International Telecommunication Union's broadband PON standard, GPON supports a variety of interfaces. For a brief while early in the decade, the Ethernet-specific EPON standard was finding its way into new designs among Asian carriers. But in recent quarters, the BPON-GPON evolution has been gaining momentum worldwide.

BroadLight's BL3458 is a direct superset of the single-channel BL3238, but integrates several additional functions beyond pasting together four 2.5Gbit channels. On the external interface of each channel, BroadLight has integrated a Serdes and a burst-mode clock/data recovery unit. This is only the first step in adding optical PHY functions such as limiting amps and laser drivers. Those functions will be integrated into a future optical-line termination chip, the BL3460, the company said.

"Every step is intended to further drive size and power integration," said Dan Parsons, director of marketing for BroadLight.

In the control plane, the chip integrates a MIPS 4KEc core, which executes the ITU G.984 PON stack. It also performs optics diagnostics and management, and helps the classifier engines perform QoS prioritization. Separate logic blocks in the chip control the DDR2 memory, perform forward error correction, encrypt traffic using the Advanced Encryption Standard and perform dynamic bandwidth allocation when that software feature is enabled.

On the software side, BroadLight has moved to a superset of the single-channel PONmaker software that ran on the G.984.

The PONjacket suite used in the new device manages multiple instantiations of PONmaker and controls all GPON links, Ethernet interfaces, QoS queues and so on.

The BE3458 is packaged in a 35-by-35mm, 756-lead BGA, typically dissipating 4W. The initial tape-outs will be followed by limited samples.

BL3458 integrates four channels and includes Serdes and burst-mode clock/data recovery unit.

At the NXTcomm conference in Chicago in June, BroadLight will offer full sampling along with a development kit that links two BL3458 devices to a Broadcom BCM56580 Ethernet switch. Parsons said the development system will be a packaged 1U appliance with eight GPON ports and dual 10GbE ports. The GPON interfaces will be implemented on Advanced Mezzanine Cards following the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture hardware standard.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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