What Do Dynamic Cable Flexing and Space Invaders Have In Common?
Our most popular live product demonstration at DesignCon 2023 was based on Space Invaders. When you see it you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
This demo is similar to others we’ve shown in the past. It demonstrates our high-speed connector systems in an environment mimicking our customers’ applications. But this time, visitors in our booth are actively bending Samtec’s twinax cable while we are taking measurements. And did I mention the signal path is long and complex? And did I mention that we made it an arcade game?
J.R. Bonnefoy, Systems Engineer at Samtec describes the demo, set-up, and results.
The Signal Path
Alphawave Semi’s™ Long Reach SERDES generates 56 Gbps PAM4 PRBS31 data at the transmitter. These signals travel to a Samtec Bulls Eye® high-performance test cable system, through low-loss coax to a Samtec NovaRay® cable system, and then to an ExaMAX® cable backplane connector system.
The path repeats itself as it loops back to the receiver.
In the middle of it all is an ExaMAX cable backplane, with 4 meters of 30-gauge Samtec Ultra-Low Skew Eye Speed® twinax cable. And this is where it gets interesting. The cable runs through the Samtec “HDRcade,” where it’s subject to dynamic flexing.
The Arcade Game and Dynamic Cable Flexer
Yes, it’s also an ARCADE game. It’s not just a redundant back-and-forth test like you see on most production floors; the flexing is controlled by whoever is playing the game. And like I said before — it was popular. Someone was “playing” the arcade game almost every minute our booth was open: customers, vendors, Samtec associates, and even Chiphead. We even had a contest to see if anybody could negatively impact the performance, and it didn’t happen.
There’s A Lot Going On …
There’s more to this demonstration than meets the eye: there’s active flexing, a six meters long cable system with eight connection points, 56 Gbps PAM4 traffic, and we’re seeing wide-open eyes and a BER of e-10.
These high-performance Samtec Flyover® cable assemblies are well-suited for many applications requiring flexibility and tight bend radiuses, including mid-board, front panel, backplane, and panel-to-panel applications.
BTW, we are excited that we debuted our first 224 Gbps PAM4 live product demonstration at DesignCon 23. Please check out that video also.
If you have any questions about this demo, email us at SIG@Samtec.com.
If you want to learn more about these connector systems, go to Samtec.com/Flyover.