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SerDes chipset reduces design costs

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NATIONAL Semiconductor, represented by Arrow Electronics , has introduced a serialiser/deserialiser (SerDes) chipset exceeding 6Gb per second (Gbps) performance at a price that is four times lower than existing solutions.

As part of National's broad Channel Link SerDes portfolio, this chipset enables designers to optimise their system designs easily and cost-effectively.

Typical system applications for the chipset include terabit core routers, multi-service access routers, optical switches, high performance color printers and copiers, and storage area network (SAN) fault tolerant servers.

National Semiconductor's DS90CR485 and DS90CR486 SerDes chipset supports a full 48-bit parallel bus interface.

"The current crop of quad 1.25 and 3.125Gbps SerDes devices has some popularity, but they're still relatively expensive and leave designers few options for serialising buses with more than 32 bits," said Dave Lewis, marketing manager for the Wired Communications Group, National Semiconductor.

"National differentiates itself in that it offers a unique combination of flexible 48-bit parallel bus, low serial data rate and low latency, easy channel alignment, low power and small footprint."

Instead of serialising 32 bits of data onto four differential pairs, the DS90CR485/6 serialises as many as 48 data bits (between 66 and133MHz) onto eight differential LVDS pairs. The clock is sent over an additional 9th LVDS pair.

This requires more serial data lines, but the lower data rates per line ease differential design requirements. In addition, the extra-wide 48-bit parallel bus not only serialises 32 data bits, but also extra data, control, and address signals.

This is a boon for designers who need to extend traditional wide parallel buses across backplanes or cables. The chipset features adjustable transmitter pre-emphasis, dc balance and receiver deskew to drive cables up to several metres.

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