Abstract: High-Frequency Reference Design 39.0 (HFRD-39.0) is an active cable receiver for integration into a Quad-SFP (QSFP) cable assembly. This reference design is capable of rates up to 10.3125Gbps 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 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 and I²C serial communication support; the adapter board also translates the QSFP high-speed signal connections to SMA connectors.
HFRD-39.0 contains an I²C EEPROM to provide a compliant QSFP software interface, and four equalizers, the MAX3804, to recover the signals at the receiving end of the cable.
By supplying complete documentation, performance evaluation, and a fully assembled circuit board, HFRD-39.0 minimizes the need to experiment with active cable assemblies.
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