Cloud data center server power and optical transceivers: a dynamic duo | EDN–a-dynamic-duo

This article discusses cloud data center trends and what components Maxim makes for this application area.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    High-speed signals jump over PCB traces

    serial data rates increase, they expose problems masked at slower speeds. Many of those problems occur because of decreased signal integrity from losses that occur in PCB traces, vias, and connectors. There are many possible solutions to signal-integrity problems, but each one comes with a downside. One such response to the problem is to eliminate PCB traces using cable assemblies.
    Boards used in servers and switches are often quite large and they typically have “out of the box” I/O copper or fiber) on one end and a backplane connection on the other. To minimize the overall distance that a signal travels, PCB designers will place the switching IC (FPGAs or ASICs) in roughly the center of the board.

    With signal fundamental frequencies currently at 14 GHz, losses caused by skin effect, weave effects, surface roughness, vias, and connectors are often too much for reliable communications.

    28 Gbit/s non-return-to-zero signal has a clock rate of 14 GHz. To help with signal losses at 56 Gbits/s, many engineers are moving to 4-level pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM4)

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TE Connectivity unveils ‘Sliver’ internal cabled interconnects for DC servers, switching, routers, storage up to 25G

    TE Connectivity (TE), a specialist in connectivity and sensors, recently announced the launch of its new Sliver internal cabled interconnects, which the company says “provide one of the most flexible solutions in the market for making internal input/output (I/O) connections on the board.” According to TE, “this new technology simplifies design and helps lower overall costs by eliminating the need for re-timers and costlier, lower-loss printed circuit board (PCB) materials, while reaching speeds up to 25 gigabits per second (Gbps) with the use of TE high speed cable.

    “Our new Sliver internal cabled interconnect system has been enthusiastically adopted by our initial customers as a solution to data rate increase challenges,” commented Melissa Knox, product manager of Data and Devices at TE Connectivity. “It is a flexible, robust, and cost effective connector and cable assembly solution providing improved performance and extended reach while also saving space and lowering design costs for a range of data rate signals within data networking applications.”

    “TE’s Sliver products can be used across many applications, data rates, and protocols (including PCI Express, SAS, and Ethernet). There are several interconnectivity options, including chip-to-chip, board-to-board, chip-to-front panel I/O, and high-speed card edge. It is a scalable platform that can be extended in increments of eight differential signal pairs for convenient and efficient pin configurations.”

    “The new Sliver internal cabled interconnects also solve the design challenge of making products as small as possible with a 0.6mm contact pitch.”

    Sliver Internal Cabled Interconnects

    0.6mm contact pitch
    Receptacle includes robust metal shell with cable latching
    Vertical and Right Angle receptacle options accepts Sliver cable assemblies or PCB plug-in cards
    Cable assemblies incorporate our high-speed, low-loss 33 AWG cable and can support both 85 and 100 ohm environments
    12G & 25G options provide economic solutions for a variety of applications


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