LightCounting: 10GBase-T port shipments to exceed 300% CAGR for 2009-2014/Ensphere Solutions debuts 10-Gbps transceiver and laser diode shunt driver ICs
JANUARY 18, 2011 — The 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) market is finally taking off with shipments of SFP+ optical transceivers driving early growth – but 10GBase-T is nearly ready to challenge for ports says market research firm LightCounting LLC in its latest report, “10GBASE-T to Dominate 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Eventually.”
Highlight of LightCounting’s report include:
Optical 10GbE port shipments have finally started to take off: Going forward, SFP+ will be the dominant optical interface. 10GbE SFP+ port shipments with a reach of less than 300 m are used in server-to-switch and some switch-to-switch applications. Shipments have tripled over the past three quarters, and LightCounting expects the high-growth trend to continue.
10Base-KR LAN on Motherboard (LOM) for blade servers has been shipping since 2009: In March 2009, HP announced the first 10GbE LOM in its blade servers under the BladeSystem brand when it refreshed its blade servers with Intel’s Nehalem family of processors in March 2009. Once blade servers offered LOM implementations of 10GbE, 10GbE port volumes grew dramatically. The significance of LOM is huge, LightCounting asserts. Prior to this generation of blade servers, 10GbE could only be enabled via adapter cards.
10GBase-T for adapters becomes feasible in late 2011: Because the use of 10GBase-T PHYs on dual port server adapters (the predominant version of shipping optical 10GbE adapters) has not been feasible to date and optical interconnects are much more expensive than copper to end users, the market for 10GbE has been stunted, LightCounting says. However, the newest versions of 10GBase-T PHYs, developed using the 40nm semiconductor process, have finally overcome 10GBase-T power constraints, enabling dual-port 10GbE adapter sales to begin in earnest once adapters using these parts are sold to end users next year.
The opportunity for 10GbE LOMs based on 10GBASE-T in 2011 is rapidly closing: 10GBase-T chipmakers will miss having their products built into Intel’s upcoming Romley server platform, which is due out late in 2011. The design win window is rapidly closing for these server platforms, and LOM versions of 10GbE controllers with embedded dual 10GBase-T PHYs are not available from multiple chipmakers. Hence, LightCounting’s forecast for 10GbE based on 10GBase-T remains constrained for the next few years.
JANUARY 24, 2011 By Stephen Hardy — Ensphere Solutions has announced the availability of its ESI-1002 transceiver and the complementary ESI-1010 laser diode shunt driver ICs. The company has targeted both devices at 10-Gbps optical transceiver modules, particularly SFP+, for both 10 Gigabit Ethernet and a variety of Fibre Channel applications.
The ESI-1002 integrates a limiting amplifier and vertical-cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) driver that can supply up to 28 mA of modulation current. It complies with SFF-8472 electrical requirements and supports a SPI processor interface for diagnostics and monitoring of several functions. These include system supply voltage, temperature, laser bias and modulation currents, and transmit power levels, among others. A complete system will have a power dissipation of less than 800 mW, including the laser current.
For longer-reach applications, the ESI-1002 can be used with Fabry-Perot and distributed feedback lasers when paired with an external driver such as the ESI-1010. The ESI-1010 single channel 10-Gbps laser diode driver is designed to support a wide variety of laser RC time constants. It can supply up to 100 mA of bias and 50 mA of modulation currents.
As was the case with Ensphere’s previously announced laser diode driver arrays, the ESI-1010 can be used in a shunt configuration. In this approach, the ESI-1010 drives a low impedance laser diode while presenting a 50-ohm load to the preceding driver. It is available in die form and can be installed adjacent to the laser. This proximity minimizes the length of bond wires. Its pre-driver can be placed further away with no risk of signal integrity degradation, according to Ensphere. Implemented in CMOS, the ESI-1010 has a power dissipation of 50 mW. Taken together, the shunt configuration significantly reduces the overall power dissipation of the system, Ensphere asserts.
While general availability is only now being announced, Ensphere has been shipping the devices for approximately 6 months and modules using the chips have already reached the field, says Al Gharakhanian, Ensphere’s vice president of marketing. All of these applications are using the shunt architecture, he says.