Interconnection


Samtec unifies QSFP and VITA specifications

31 August 2020 Interconnection

What do the QSFP-DD800 MSA and VITA 57 standards have in common? One focuses on defining the next-generation pluggable form factors while the other complements FPGA mezzanine applications. Samtec participates in many industry standards to develop commonality in specific applications. QSFP-DD800 and VITA 57 are but two examples.


Figure 1. Samtec’s FQSFP-DD solution.

QSFP-DD800 MSA: New hardware specification

QSFP28. QSFP-DD. QSFP-DD800. It seems the multi source agreements (MSAs) for quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP) solutions won’t be slowing down any time soon. QSFP-DD800 refers to ‘Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density 800’. The goal of the MSA is to scale development of high-speed, double-density QSFP modules which support 800 Gbps connectivity.

Why all the fuss about QSFP-DD800? Well, QSFP solutions are commonplace connector, cage and transceiver form factors across the majority of data centre applications. Current QSFP-DD solutions can handle 400 Gbps (8 x 50 Gbps), but QSFP-DD800 moves it to 800 Gbps (8 x 100 Gbps).

The new QSFP-DD800 efforts have focused on signal integrity improvements for increased performance per lane. For example, optimised transceiver pads allow for 100 Gbps performance. Additionally, a new 2 x 1 connector/cage definition allows upper ports to leverage high-performance twinax cable options instead of traditional PCB traces.

Novel interconnect architectures also assist in thermal management, similar to Samtec FQSFP-DD solutions shown in Figure 1. Yet, the QSFP-DD800 MSA has focused on being backward compatible with previous QSFP modules. For more information on the QSFP-DD800 MSA please visit www.qsfp-dd800.com.


Figure 2. SEARAY high-speed, high-density array connector.

New VITA 57.X application notes

By any measure, both VITA 57.1 FMC and VITA 57.4 FMC+ have been extremely popular standard interfaces. FPGA vendors like Xilinx, Intel, Achronix and others, and their ecosystem partners, leverage FMC and FMC+ across their hardware platforms.

Samtec is a connector provider for both VITA 57.1 FMC and VITA 57.4 FMC+. Additionally, Samtec has developed a number of accessories that complement the VITA 57.X connector solutions. As customers increase the amount of FMC and FMC+ information requests, Samtec has created several application notes that assist with design and testing VITA 57.X interfaces.


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