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Connectors pave way for high-speed electronics

Posted: 01 Mar 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TE Connectivity? connector? copper cable?

During the recent DesignCon 2016 this year, TE Connectivity showcased the latest innovations in connectivity. As design engineers, we need speed, scalability, space-savings, reduced thermals, power and reach and the weakest link in the system can be the transmission media cables and PC board/motherboard.

We often tend to forget about connectors and cables when we discuss the amazing speeds and bandwidths in today's systems. All the goodness of the super-speed FPGAs, processors and other ICs can be negated by an inferior architecture to carry those signals from place to place. One highlight of their products was the microQSFP Solutions Connector.

MicroQSFP interconnect

Figure 1: TE Connectivity Micro Quad Small Form Factor (MicroQSFP) solutions connectors claim to provide an integrated module thermal solution that allows 30 per cent better thermal performance than QSFP28 solutions and removes the largest source of thermal resistance, ultimately requiring less energy to cool equipment and increasing the ease of system thermal design.

MicroQSFP interconnect

Figure 2: TE Connectivity's Micro Quad Small Form Factor (MicroQSFP) interconnect solutions is a 4x28G solution provides QSFP28 functionality in a smaller, generally SFP-sized form factor. The design has 33 per cent higher density than QSFP to fit more ports (up to 72) on a standard line card, saving precious design space with a 14.25mm port-to-port pitch.

TE will be the first to develop microQSFP connectors and cages in accordance with the latest specification released by the microQSFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) group on January 15, 2016. TE took the lead in forming the microQSFP MSA, and said they expect to have standards-compliant products in the market by 1H16.

TE microQSFP connector

Figure 3: This demo showed a TE microQSFP connector and cable with 56Gb/s PAM-4 across passive, 3m copper cables. This system allows for more than 14Tbps switch in one RU line card with low crosstalk and insertion loss proven at 28Gbps NRZ and 58Gbps PAM-4.

- Steve Taranovich

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