Backplane extensions quadruple previous distance limits

Velio Communications has partnered with W. L. Gore & Associates, a supplier of high data rate cable assemblies, to develop electrical backplane extensions that allows 2.5 Gbps traffic to exceed 20 metres.

Velio Communications has partnered with W. L. Gore & Associates, a supplier of high data rate cable assemblies, to develop electrical backplane extensions that allows 2.5 Gbps traffic to exceed 20 metres – four times the distance previously possible with copper cable.

As multi-terabit class OC-48, OC-192 and OC-768 switches require hundreds of 10 Gbps line cards feeding optical data, which is then transmitted across a system backplane as 2.5 Gbps traffic, a single chassis is no longer large enough to contain a single switching system. Cabinet-to-cabinet connections are required, and both electrical and optical interconnects are options to provide the high-speed backplane connection between the cabinets.

Optical interconnects offer far longer lengths than electrical interconnects but at a higher cost. Electrical interconnects are much less expensive and are a proven technology, but, prior to the Velio announcement, the effective reach between the cabinets has usually been limited to less than five metres for 2.5 Gbps traffic.

Velio claims that the new backplane extensions will now enable optical switch manufacturers to build far lower cost switching systems.

Velio and Gore detailed their design methodologies and the technologies that enable 20 metre electrical backplane extensions with a paper and booth demonstrations at DesignCon 2002 this week at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.