Serial link aggregators support data rates up to 10 Gbps

January 17, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Texas Instruments has introduced a pair of 10-Gbps serial link aggregator ICs that it says will reduce cable interconnect costs, power consumption and development time for serial link-based systems.

The TLK10081 1- to 8-channel and TLK10022 dual-channel ICs allow system designers to reduce the number of gigabit serial links required for communications, video, and imaging equipment. They aggregate and de-aggregate point-to-point serial data streams for transmission over backplanes, copper cables and optical links, avoiding development of custom aggregator IP for high-performance FPGAs or ASICs. Both devices occupy a smaller footprint than FPGAs and use only two power rails, compared to the five or six rails possibly needed with FPGAs.

The serial link aggregators directly connect serial links from data converters and processors without having to re-format the data; TLK10081 can aggregate up to eight lanes of full-duplex, 1.25-Gbps data traffic onto a single 10-Gbps link for transmission over short-distance backplanes or copper cables up to 10 meters, or long-distance optical links.

Features include;

Reduced system design complexity: The TLK10022 supports 4:1, 3:1 and 2:1 bidirectional serial link configurations, while the TLK10081 manages 8:1 bidirectional links.

Data agnostic aggregation: Each device supports many different data types without requiring special data encoding.

Intelligent serial link switching: Enables programmable channel lane switching of serial links in different configurations without using external multiplexing. This feature reduces system implementation time while achieving fault tolerance goals.

Built-in digital equalisation: Advanced decision feedback equalisation (DFE) and feed forward equalisation (FFE) extends transmission distances over copper media and optical links.

The TLK10081 and TLK10022 are available in 13 x 13-mm, 144-ball plastic BGA packages for $25 (1,000). They can be combined with other TI devices to create a signal chain solution: ADS42JB69 dual 16-bit, 250-MSPS analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) with JESD204B serial interface, SN65LVCP1414 14.2-Gbps 4-channel equaliser and SN65LVCP114 14.2-Gbps quad mux redriver.

TLK10081EVM and TLK10022EVM evaluation modules cost $2,999. They are supplied with an EVM user guide and GUI software with user guide. A video aggregator application note is also available, as well as IBIS-AMI and HSPICE simulation models to verify signal integrity.