DesignCon 2020 wrapped-up a few weeks ago. DesignCon, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in January, is an important conference/exhibition for Samtec. It’s an opportunity to present our new signal integrity optimized, high-performance interconnect and technology solutions.
Here are a few key observations and takeaways from DesignCon 2020, from a connector manufacturer’s perspective:
112 Gbps Data Rates
Several years ago DesignCon was abuzz with cutting edge 28 Gbps data rates. Three or so years ago we made the jump to 56 Gbps PAM4. We wondered if 112 Gbps was possible with copper. Although 112 Gbps PAM4 has not completely arrived, it has for several connector manufacturers. As a matter of fact, it arrived for Samtec last year. Speaking only for Samtec (I got in trouble previously when I spoke for Molex (just kidding)), we are currently developing a system to accommodate 224 Gbps PAM4. We’ll tell you more about that in the near future.
How Do We Get To 112 Gbps?
Again, speaking only for Samtec (the last time I spoke for TE I also got into trouble), we’re achieving 112 Gbps PAM4 data rates and beyond with Samtec Flyover®. Samtec Flyover routes critical high-speed signals from the ASIC, above lossy PCB materials, directly to the panel, utilizing ultra-low-skew twinax cable. Here’s a video that tells you all about it.
We also demonstrated Direct Connect™ to silicon package technology, which eliminates distortion through the BGA region by directly connecting to the silicon package. Optical and copper FireFly™ cable assemblies connect to BGA-style packages to the front panel and backplane, enabling up to 56 Gbps PAM4 at a pJ/bit that is three times more efficient than QSFP25.
We introduced Si-Fly, a 112 Gbps PAM4, low profile, high-density cable system at DesignCon. Si-Fly uses Direct Connect technology to elude the BGA and route signals directly from the silicon package through a long-reach cable.
A Very Popular Newer Product
NovaRay® didn’t make its debut at DesignCon 2020, but it caught a lot of attention. NovaRay is an extreme density array system for 112 Gbps PAM4 per channel, in 40% less space than traditional arrays.
Engineer Of The Year
Istvan Novak, Principle Signal and Power Integrity Engineer at Samtec, Inc., received DesignCon 2020’s Engineer of the Year award. Mr. Novak introduced the industry’s first 25 µm power-ground laminates for large rigid computer boards, and worked with component vendors to create a series of low-inductance and controlled-ESR bypass capacitors.
“I am thrilled and deeply honored to be selected as the DesignCon 2020 Engineer of the Year, among world-class experts Jay Diepenbrock, Vladimir Dmitiev-Zdorov, Tim Hollis, Michael Schnecker, and Yuriy Shiepnev,” said Istvan, in a totally off-the-cuff, unwritten-beforehand statement. “For myself, and many of my colleagues, DesignCon has been for many years the go-to conference that has provided year-after-year the highest level of inspiration, knowledge, and opportunity,”
The winner is selected based on his or her leadership, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking brought to the design-test of chips, boards, or systems, with particular attention paid to the areas of signal and power integrity.
The winner was announced on Thursday, January 30, at DesignCon 2020 in the Santa Clara Convention Center Theater. The winner receives a $1,000 grant or scholarship to present to the educational institution of his or her choice.
Here’s a few other articles about DesignCon 2020 if you want to learn more: