PMC-Sierra Unveils Versatile Multi-Gigabit Serial Link Retimer Products

5/6/2003 - PMC-Sierra(TM), Inc. (Nasdaq:PMCS - News) introduced the industry's most versatile serial link Retimer product family to enable seamless interconnect and error-free transmission of multi-gigabit traffic over system backplanes, printed circuit boards, copper cabling and fiber optics. The PM8385 QuadPHY® RT and PM8357 QuadPHY® XR are optimized to exceed Ethernet and Fibre Channel signal integrity requirements, deliver market-leading power efficiencies and increase design flexibility. Using PMC-Sierra's Retimers as a companion device with FPGAs and ASICs enables enterprise, storage and metro area network equipment designers to achieve greatly improved gigabit serial link performance, reach and reliability.

Enabling Robust Multi-Gigabit Serial Interconnect
PMC-Sierra's Retimer product family resolves backplane transmission errors prevalent in high speed networking systems by recovering noisy serial input signals and re-transmitting with boosted amplitude and significantly reduced jitter (see figure 2). The QuadPHY RT and QuadPHY XR complement FPGA and ASIC solutions by increasing high speed signal drive distance across backplanes resulting in a 50% increase in high-speed signal drive distance. In a typical backplane application, both FPGA and ASIC solutions with embedded Serializer/Deserializer (SERDES) have compromised signal integrity performance which results in either poor Bit Error Rate (BER) performance or restricts backplane distance to less than 10 inches. Using PMC-Sierra's Retimer devices, designers can extend link distance beyond 60 inches and achieve robust error free performance.

"Our new Retimer product family adds to our broad and growing SERDES product portfolio and continues our commitment to the extensive industry deployment of multi-gigabit serial technology. Our multi-port CMOS SERDES devices have been designed into multiple customer systems to date, including some of the most demanding and highest volume gigabit SERDES sockets in the enterprise switch segment," said Mark Stibitz, vice president and general manager of PMC-Sierra's Enterprise and Storage Division. "Analogous to bus drivers which are used broadly in parallel system interconnects, these versatile serial Retimer products are necessary system building blocks and essential for successful multi-gigabit serial I/O design."

Exceeding Jitter Performance Across a Broad Range of Applications
By leveraging PMC-Sierra's industry proven multi-gigabit serial I/O technology, the QuadPHY RT and QuadPHY XR deliver extremely low power and standards-exceeding jitter performance. The QuadPHY RT is a standards compliant, 4 port Gigabit Ethernet (GE) and 1 and 2G Fibre Channel Retimer. The QuadPHY XR operates from 2.125 to 3.2 Gbit/s supporting IEEE 802.3ae 10GE and ANSI T11.2 10GFC standard-compliant XAUI (10 Gigabit Attachment Unit Interface), InfiniBand and OC-48 retiming channels. The QuadPHY RT and QuadPHY XR devices offer extensive flexibility in optimizing several critical signal integrity parameters. In particular, both devices provide fine-tuning of pre-emphasis, equalization, output swing and termination through over 36 programmable settings to optimally offset customer-specific backplane and interconnect losses.

"PMC-Sierra's newly announced QuadPHY RT and QuadPHY XR products, combined with the techniques implemented in Tyco Electronics' high speed HM-Zd QuadRoute Backplane, provides system designers with proven, error-free backplane design. Furthermore, the synergistic performance between the two companies' products will help reduce overall system costs while providing a platform life that can be used for Gigabit Ethernet to XAUI and beyond," said John D'Ambrosia, manager, Semiconductor Relations, Tyco Electronics Corporation.

Providing Low Cost Alternative to Optical Fiber Connections
With a total capacity of up to 20 Gbit/s, the QuadPHY RT and QuadPHY XR devices provide customers with a high-speed, low cost alternative to optical fiber connections. The high bandwidth availability of the Retimer products enables customers to use low cost copper cables for data transfers from either shelf-to-shelf or rack-to-rack. These products have been qualified to transmit data error free over 20m of InfiniBand 4X cabling exceeding industry standards of 15m.

Pricing, Availability and Customer Support
The PM8385 QuadPHY RT and PM8357 QuadPHY XR devices are packaged in small form factor 15 x 15 mm, 196-pin and 1.0 mm ball pitch CABGA packages. The QuadPHY RT is priced at $21 and the QuadPHY XR is priced at $34 in direct purchase of 1KU quantities. For comprehensive datasheets, evaluation kit and application notes, visit or contact sales at or applications support at

About PMC-Sierra
PMC-Sierra is a leading provider of high speed broadband communications and storage semiconductors and MIPS-based processors for Enterprise, Access, Metro Optical Transport, Storage Area Networking and Wireless network equipment. The company offers worldwide technical and sales support, including a network of offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. PMC-Sierra is included in the S&P 500 Index which consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, and industry group representation. The company is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the PMCS symbol. For more information, visit

QuadPHY is a registered trademark of PMC-Sierra. PMC-Sierra, PMC, and PMCS are trademarks of PMC-Sierra, Inc.

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