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Broadcom unveils gearbox ICs for modern data centres

Semiconductor company Broadcom has unveiled a new generation of gearbox PHY IC devices, the BCM82332, BCM82793 and BCM82864, designed for modern data centre and enterprise networking applications.

With the general availability of switch chips that have flexible, multi-speed port interfaces supporting 10G, 40G, 100G and emerging Ethernet speeds, new gearbox PHY solutions are needed to ensure robust signal integrity and optimise port adaption.

The latest Broadcom gearbox PHY devices extend the capabilities of switches by providing flexible port interfaces and maximising the electrical link distance to optical interfaces while minimising the power consumed.

The BCM82793 and BCM82332 are application-optimised, cost-effective 100G gearbox devices that support IEEE802.3bj Clause 73 Auto-negotiation, Clause 91 FEC and Clause 92 and 93 transmit training.

The BCM82793 is a 100G gearbox PHY that supports 100G 10:4 gearbox mode and multiple re-timer modes including 2x40G Ethernet and 10x10G Ethernet. It is footprint-compatible with the industry standard 100G gearbox PHY.

The BCM82332 is a triple-speed 10G/40G/100G PHY, which supports 100G 10:4 gearbox mode and multiple re-timer modes including 12x10G Ethernet and 3x40G Ethernet. The device is optimised for enterprise class switches that utilize a mix of 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The third product, the BCM82864 is a 40G gearbox Quad-PHY that supports 160G 16:8 gearbox mode for 40G Ethernet and multiple re-timer modes including 2x100G Ethernet and 2x40G Ethernet. The 100G Ethernet bypass enables end users to change front panel ports from 40G to 100G simply by changing out two 40G QSFP+ modules for a 100G QSFP28 module. This enables 64x40G Ethernet switch matrix in hyperscale data centre applications.

“Broadcom has consistently offered gearbox products meeting a variety of multiplexing options,” said Loring Wirbel, senior analyst with The Linley Group. “By supporting unique re-timer modes such as 12x10 and 3x40, and by supporting 802.3bj Clause 73, Broadcom continues its leadership in 'right-sizing' PHY solutions for the data centre.”

The BCM82864 is in production now. Samples of the BCM82332 and BCM82793 are currently available with production slated for October 2016.


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