Industry leading ICs, like the Microchip® META-DX1, combined with products like Samtec’s FQSFP-DD cable solutions, provide an ideal proof-of-concept for front panel QSFP-DD data center communication system architectures.
META-DX1 is a 1.2 Terabit Ethernet PHY with long reach 56G PAM4 SerDes, and features such as MACsec encryption, FlexE, and nanosecond-level PTP timestamping accuracy. With support for Ethernet rates from 1 to 400 GE, 48 Serdes, and integrated crosspoint, META-DX1 enables a wide range of connectivity in a single hardware design.
Samtec’s Double Density Flyover® QSFP Cable System provides improved signal integrity and architectural flexibility using Samtec Flyover technology, which routes the signal above a lossy PCB using co-extruded, ultra-low skew twinax for improved bandwidth and reach.
Matt Burns, Technical Marketing Manager at Samtec, walks us through the set-up and its performance. In this demo, 56 Gbps PAM4 data routes from the META-DX1 PHY via 12” of precision RF cable assemblies to 2.40 mm compression mount jacks on an SI evaluation board for Samtec’s AcceleRate® Slim Direct Attach Cable Assemblies.
The signals route through 28” of 34 AWG Samtec Eye Speed® ultra-low skew twinax cable, to a Samtec Double Density Flyover QSFP-DD MSA front-panel cage and connector. This emulates real-world mid-board to front panel connections
The signals route to a 400 Gbps QSFP-DD loop back testing module, then return through another 28″ of ultra-low skew twinax cable to the AcceleRate connector. Next, the signals route from the PCB , to 2.40 mm compression jacks, back through the 12” of precision RF cable before finally returning to the Microchip META-DX1 PHY for analysis.
The total length of the signal path is about 2 meters, and the results are impressive. The total channel BER is 1e-12. The eye diagrams are wide-open. As a point of reference, the entire signal loss is roughly 20 dB.
For more information on the Microchip META-DX1 family, please visit www.microchip.com/META-DX1
For more information on Samtec’s front panel I/O interconnect, please visit www.samtec.com.