HFRD-31.0: 20Gbps, Quad-SFP Active Copper Cable Assembly

Abstract: High Frequency Reference Design 31.0 (HFRD-31.0) is an active cable transmitter and receiver intended to be integrated within a Quad-SFP (QSFP) cable assembly. It is capable of rates up to 5Gbps on each of its four links. It provides adjustable equalization for different cable lengths and reduces the impact of near-end crosstalk (NEXT) by regenerating the received signal before encountering interfering signals. This regeneration step significantly increases the signal-to-noise ratio thereby improving bit error margins and allowing for longer cable spans. To support the testing and evaluation of the active cable assembly, a host adapter board (HFRD-32.0) is available to supply power, I²C serial Communication support and to translate the QSFP high-speed signal connections to SMA connectors. HFRD-31.0 presents a two-chip solution. One device is a microcontroller, necessary to provide a compliant QSFP software interface. The other device is the MAX3983 Signal Conditioner (a.k.a. eight-channel equalizer). The MAX3983 supports four transmit channels and four receive channels.

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REFERENCE SCHEMATIC 4138, AN4138, AN 4138, APP4138, Appnote4138, Appnote 4138