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Broadcom squeezes more out of 100Mbit Ethernet

Posted: 24 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ethernet range? single-port transceivers?

Broadcom Corp. has succeeded in extending the 10/100Mbps Ethernet's range. The company uses its single-port 1Gbps transceiver design as the basis for the octal BroadR-Reach, which can achieve 100Mbit Ethernet speeds over one, two or four pairs of Category 3 or Category 5 unshielded twisted pair.

Many hotels and schools still have voice-grade Category 3 wiring but would like to offer Ethernet at distances exceeding 100m, said BroadR-Reach senior product line manager Ali Abaye. At the same time, many installations of data-grade Category 5 need to support a mix of high-speed packet services, such as data along with security video or data with IP PBX voice.

Broadcom expects some carrier interest in the technology as well, when Category 5 wiring in a building is used as an extension of a VDSL gateway in the basement of a multidwelling unit. However, the BroadR-Reach 65nm CMOS octal transceiver does not use DSL modulation techniques, relying solely on traditional Ethernet transmission.

The technology can be used with PoE to provide up to 13W for remote devices such as security cameras. While BroadR-Reach itself uses proprietary mixed-signal conditioning, the BCM54880 implementing the technology meets IEEE 802.3, 802.3u and 802.3ab standards. Each of the eight ports on the chip supports both the Serial Gigabit Media Independent Interface medium access controller interface and the BroadR-Reach interface.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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