Broadcom Ships Serial Backplane Transceiver Chipset for Switch, Router

5/1/2003 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), the leading provider of silicon solutions enabling broadband communications, announced that it is shipping a custom three-chip serial backplane transceiver chipset for Foundry Networks’ next-generation Terabit-capacity enterprise switch and metro/service provider router architecture. These custom application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) enhance the performance and reliability of high-speed serial backplanes, while simplifying implementation and reducing overall system cost. High-speed serial backplanes provide critical links that aggregate and switch data and voice over linecards, inside of a common network chassis, reducing power supply, cable and memory requirements.

These fully integrated, custom integrated circuits (ICs) consume substantially less power and use smaller silicon die area and board space than similar designs based on discrete standard solutions used in high-speed networking equipment backplanes to link multiple cards in a single chassis, or to connect bays of optical networking equipment. The integration of multiple 3.125 Gigabits per second (Gbps) serializer/deserializer (SerDes) channels with 7 million bits of custom SRAM (static random access memory) and over 3.5 million gates in a single-poly CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) chip eliminates over 1,500 pins and reduces power by more than 25% versus comparable discrete solutions.

“Broadcom’s advanced mixed-signal integration expertise, coupled with their aggressive execution style, helped Foundry leapfrog the competition,” said Karl Triebes, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering for Foundry Networks. “When we initiated this project and pursued potential vendors who could integrate multiple 3.125 Gbps SerDes channels with our advanced switching logic, Broadcom emerged as the clear leader with proven technology leadership and on-time delivery of working silicon.”

“The enormous traffic and performance demands on next-generation switch and router backplanes are bounded by strict power requirements that are driving the need for higher levels of design integration,” said Robert A. Rango, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Networking Infrastructure Business Unit. “By providing our field-proven SerDes technology through our custom ASICs program, our key customers are able to double, and in some cases, quadruple the throughput of existing backplanes while improving system reliability and lowering power consumption.”

The custom serial backplane transceiver chipset for Foundry Networks was developed using Broadcom’s third generation of low-power, mixed-signal CMOS SerDes technology supporting a variety of data communications, telecommunications and storage applications using Fibre Channel, Ethernet and SONET (Synchronous Optical Networks) transmission protocols. The key advantage of the core technology is its multi-rate operation that allows cores to transmit serial data from 622-Mbps up through 5-Gbps and 10-Gbps over a variety of links including fiber optics, copper cables, backplanes, and chip-to-chip printed circuit board (PCB) connections.

“This custom multi-chip transceiver solution for Foundry Networks leverages Broadcom’s advanced mixed-signal design methodology and signifies another milestone in the company’s growing portfolio of communications ASICs for the networking, computer and consumer markets,” continued Mr. Rango. “Custom ASICs enhance the performance and reliability of our customers’ solutions, while simplifying implementation and reducing overall system cost.”

Broadcom’s Custom Development Methodology
Broadcom’s utilizes its world-class, full-custom IC development methodology to design, develop and supply highly complex mixed-signal devices from concept through high-volume production. Over the past several years, Broadcom has enhanced this advanced design process, resulting in extremely cost-effective, system-on-chip (SoC) solutions that integrate customers' technology with Broadcom's proprietary BroadCoreTM broadband transmission cores. The BroadCore library of communications-centric design elements is extensive and consists of high-performance analog, transistor-optimized compiled DSP, dense memory blocks, embedded processors, and a wide assortment of I/O technologies that are designed, supported and maintained internally by Broadcom and can be easily transposed into standard products.

About Broadcom
Broadcom Corporation is the leading provider of highly integrated silicon solutions that enable broadband communications and networking of voice, video and data services. Using proprietary technologies and advanced design methodologies, Broadcom designs, develops and supplies complete system-on-a-chip solutions and related hardware and software applications for every major broadband communications market. Our diverse product portfolio includes solutions for digital cable and satellite set-top boxes; cable and DSL modems and residential gateways; high-speed transmission and switching for local, metropolitan, wide area and storage networking; home and wireless networking; cellular and terrestrial wireless communications; Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateway and telephony systems; broadband network processors; and SystemI/OTM server solutions. These technologies and products support our core mission: Connecting everything®.

Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and may be contacted at 1-949-450-8700 or at

Broadcom®, the pulse logo, Connecting everything®, BroadCoreTM and SystemI/OTM are trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries.

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