NEWS BRIEFS, June 2003

InfiniBand Backers Develop Transceiver Specification

Ten InfiniBand industry companies are teaming to form a new multi-source agreement that will define a common architecture and electrical interface for developing hot-swappable 4X copper and 4X/12X fiber-optic transceivers for InfiniBand designs.  Once completed, the new MSA, called IBPAX, will define a front-panel, hot-swap transceiver that can deliver between 10- and 30-Gbit/s data performance.  The specification incorporates the electrical, copper cable, and fiber requirements defined in InfiniBand Architecture Spec Volume 2, Release 11.  The spec will also define an electrical connector, package outline, guide rail, test and control features.  The IBPAK spec will also detail common product specifications for PCB layout, front-panel requirements, electromagnetic interference seal and management interfaces.

Analog Devices Introduces New 600 MHz TigerSharc DSP

With the help of IBM Microelectronics, Analog Devices Inc. has embedded 24 Mbits of DRAM onto its latest TigerSharc DSP.  The TigerSharc also features a repipelined core and a revamped I/O structure that emphasizes fast clocking, multiprocessing and I/O throughput.  The company's previous TS101s TigerSharc topped out at 300 MHz, included 6 Mbits of six-transistor SRAM and used half-duplex low-voltage TTL signaling.  The new TS201s tops out at 600 MHz, has 24 Mbits of IBM's zero-leakage embedded DRAM and uses full-duplex low-voltage differential signaling on the LinkPort I/O interface.  The 600-MHz clock rate was achieved by adding four pipeline stages, bringing the total to 12.

BitBlitz Unveils Retimer for 10-Gbit CX-4 Ethernet

BitBlitz Communications Inc. has entered the burgeoning market for octal retimers designed for the IEEE's emerging CX-4 standard, which specifies 10-Gbit Ethernet links over short lengths of coaxial cable.  Whereas earlier CX-4 retimers from Broadcom Corp. and Marvell Semiconductor were based on serializer/deserializer designs, BitBlitz is betting that an optimized retimer is appropriate for LX-4 applications using multimode fiber for interconnects out to 300 meters.  The BBT3821 must perform retiming between the Xaui interfaces used in 10-Gbit media-access controllers and the CX-4 pin-outs used for short-haul copper interconnects.  The retimers are being used in Xenpak or X2 modules designed for CX-4 applications.

TI Introducing the Fastest 18-Bit Analog-to-Digital Converter

Extending the industry's leading delta-sigma data converter portfolio, Texas Instruments (TI) recently introduced the industry's fastest 18-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) from the company's Burr-Brown product line.  Featuring a 1.25 mega samples per second (MSPS) data rate with outstanding high-speed performance, the ADS1625 is ideal for demanding measurement requirements in scientific instrumentation, automated test equipment, data acquisition and medical imaging.

The ADS1625 features 93dB signal-to-noise ratio, -101dB total harmonic distortion and 103dB spurious-free dynamic range.  Input bandwidth is 615kHz (-3dB) and pass band ripple is less than +/-0.0025dB (to 550kHz).  The input signal is measured against a voltage reference that can be generated on-chip or supplied externally.  The digital output data is provided over a simple parallel interface that directly connects to TI's TMS320C6000(TM) DSP family.  The device operates from a +5V analog supply and a +3V digital supply.  The digital I/O supply operates from +2.7V to +5.25V, enabling the digital interface to support a range of logic families.  Power dissipation is set by an external resistor and can be reduced when operating at slower speeds (150mW to 515mW).  A power-down mode, activated by a digital pin, shuts down all circuitry.

Patch Antennas for Portable and Car GPS Applications

Amotech´s ceramic division called AMECS offers a complete series of dielectric patch antennas.  These patches have low profile, ceramic antenna elements for use in portable GPS receivers and navigation systems.  Designed for 1575.42 MHz reception, the antennas have four different footprints as 25 mm×25mm, 18 mm×18 mm, 15×15 mm and 12 mm×12 mm with a low profile.  These flat patch antennas have a rectangular micro-strip design for GPS C/A right- and circular polarization wave reception.  The patch antennas have an impedance of 50 Ω.  The offered gain starts between 3 dBi for the small patches 12,15 and 18, and 5 dBi for the 25 × 25 antenna.

Dataquest Sees IC Industry Poised for Growth

Gartner Dataquest analysts has indicated that the semiconductor equipment industry is poised for growth, with 8 percent growth in capital spending likely this year and 15 percent growth possible for 2003.  Next year could be another banner year for the chip industry, with growth exceeding 20 percent for both 2004 and 2005, resulting in a $250 billion semiconductor industry in 2005.  The company is predicting 23 percent chip revenue growth in 2004, and 22 percent in 2005.   The company has reported that Japan is improving with slight expansion rather than contraction as in past years for capital equipment spending.  Europe, however, is stuck in a rut.  Asia Pacific is being pulled along by stronger electronics exports to North America.  The industry could be facing tight capacity in 2005, however, a supply overshoot could occur by 2006, resulting in another down cycle then.  Dataquest is predicting that semiconductor revenues will shrink by 5 percent in 2006, and return to growth of 7 percent in 2007.