Gigabit Ethernet transceiver complies with GBIC power requirements

The BCM5421S is claimed to be the first Gigabit Ethernet-over-copper transceiver to comply with the 1.5W power requirements of Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) modules.

Broadcom Corporation has announced the BCM5421S, the first Gigabit Ethernet-over-copper transceiver to comply with the restrictive 1.5W power requirements of Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) modules.

The device, which features a 50% power reduction over previous generations of Gigabit Ethernet-over-copper transceivers, enables the integration of legacy equipment containing GBIC module slots with Gigabit copper networks.

‘This device will enable millions of legacy GBIC ports in high speed network equipment to connect to local copper links,’ said Marty Colombatto, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Networking Business Unit. ‘Previously announced copper GBIC solutions exceed the power limit of the specification for GBICs by more than one watt, making them useful only for new equipment designs specifically intended to support the higher power requirement. Furthermore, the high power requirements of these early copper GBICs are potentially harmful to legacy equipment.’

‘This new device from Broadcom will enable the development of power-compliant copper GBIC modules for Gigabit Ethernet applications,’ said Craig Fosnaught, High Performance Adapter Group Product Manager for Molex Incorporated, a manufacturer of interconnection products. ‘The BCM5421S will enable Molex to address the installed base of four to five million GBIC-ready ports, allowing network equipment with GBIC ports to link to Gigabit Ethernet networks.’

In addition to GBIC applications, the BCM5421S supports all single-port 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet-over-Copper) applications. An on-chip SerDes (Serializer/Deserializer) is fully compliant with the IEEE 802.3z Ethernet standard and can interface directly to optical modules. This makes the BCM5421S a universal transceiver for both copper and fibre media, with a switch between media possible either automatically or through software control.

The device can also be used as a single-chip solution for Gigabit Ethernet media conversion. With its integrated SerDes interface, the BCM5421S provides bidirectional conversion between Gigabit fibre and Gigabit copper networks.

In addition to supporting the IEEE 802.3 standard Gigabit Media Independent Interface (GMII), and the industry standard Ten Bit Interface (TBI), the BCM5421S also supports the RGMII and RTBI, SerDes, and SGMII interfaces. The SerDes and SGMII are reduced pin-count (4 and 6 respectively, versus 25) Switch/MAC interfaces. RGMII is a reduced pin-count (12 versus 25) version of the GMII, and RTBI is a reduced pin-count version of TBI using standard ASIC technology. The reduced pin count interfaces reduce system cost and simplify system and board level design.

The BCM5421S incorporates all three Ethernet speeds – 10, 100 and 1000 Megabits per second (Mbps) at half and full duplex – with standards based auto-negotiation to ensure compatibility with all existing Ethernet network equipment operating over existing legacy Category 5 copper cable plants.

Broadcom’s EthernetWirespeed technology enables equipment manufactured using the BCM5421S to automatically select the maximum speed possible based on channel conditions, even over impaired cable plant, regardless of the maximum speed advertised by the end-equipment.

The device is fully compliant with the IEEE 802.3, 802.3u and 802.3ab Ethernet standards. It also offers the industry’s highest level of margin in excess of IEEE specifications for noise cancellation and transmission jitter, Near End Cross Talk (NEXT), Far End Cross Talk (FEXT) and Echo, ensuring consistent and reliable operation.

The BCM5421S Gigabit Ethernet-over-Copper Transceiver is currently sampling to Broadcom’s early access partners and is priced at $27 in quantities of 1000 units.

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