Industry Leaders Create IBPAK for Hot-swap InfiniBand Transceivers

6/24/2003 - Agilent Technologies Inc., Infineon Technologies, InfiniCon Systems, Mindspeed Technologies, Molex Incorporated, Optical Communication Products, Picolight Inc., Sun Microsystems, Inc., Tyco Electronics and W. L. Gore & Associates Inc. announced IBPAK, a new multi-source agreement (MSA). The new MSA is intended to create common specifications for hot-pluggable 4X copper cable transceivers and 4X/12X fiber optic transceivers that support InfiniBand-defined ports. IBPAK intends to enable multiple compatible sources of front-panel, hot-swap capable, 10 Gb/s (4 lane) and 30 Gb/s (12 lane) transceivers, including the electrical connector and guide rail.

The IBPAK specification incorporates the high-speed electrical, copper cable and fiber attachment requirements defined in InfiniBand Architecture Specification Volume 2, Release 1.1, and adds the necessary definition for the electrical connector, package outline, guide rail, hot-swap (hot-pluggable), test and control features to enable compatible and interchangeable solutions for 4x copper cable ports and 4x/12x fiber optic ports. Transceivers based on this MSA are expected to function as transparent, re-timing repeaters, providing robust board-to-board and inter-chassis interconnections enabling fabric linking equipment within data centers among InfiniBand servers or between servers and storage equipment.

The IBPAK specification also identifies common product specifications for the host PCB layout, front panel requirements, EMI seal, electrical and management interfaces, and thermal, EMI and ESD requirements. IBPAK transceivers are expected to provide signal conditioning, vendor and product information, status reports and control via a serial interface.

"Non-proprietary, standards-based technologies, such as the IBPAK components that enable high-speed connectivity between host server clusters and storage targets, are key to developing a future ready architecture," said Robert Zak, distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems, Inc. "We see InfiniBand's performance and high bandwidth playing a significant role in next-generation data centers."

The IBPAK MSA group plans to make the details of the specification available to the industry so that other transceiver and component manufacturers can produce compatible products. The IBPAK final specification is expected in the third quarter of calendar year 2003, and IBPAK optical module member companies expect to begin shipping these new transceivers by the end of 2003.

More information on the MSA and status and availability of the specification is available at

InfiniBand(TM/SM) is a trademark and service mark of the InfiniBand Trade Association. Other names and brands are the property of their respective owners. Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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