Lantiq SOCRATES goes the extra mile (or 30)

2014-05-13  Semiconductor ICs   INTEL

High Data Rates over Long Copper Pairs

Nothing beats SHDSL when it comes to high data rate requirements on long copper loops. A global ITU standard, SHDSL stands for Single-Pair Highspeed Digital Subscriber Lines. In more than a decade of use, equipment providers and carriers have gone beyond the “single-pair” concept to achieve higher data rates, and specialized modes of operation have extended the reach of SHDSL lines.

Today, Lantiq offers SHDSL-based transceivers that enable data rates up to 15 Megabits per second (Mbps) per copper pair and reach far beyond 10 kilometers. With the Lantiq SOCRATES single-chip solution, adding kilometers of TDM or Ethernet connectivity becomes as easy as adding a generic Ethernet Phy. The chip features standard MII and TDM interfaces and a 4-pair bonding engine that enables up to 60 Mbps throughput over 4 copper pairs (e.g. 4 telephone cables or one CAT5).

Fifteen years after its first market introduction as broadband access technology for businesses, SHDSL has gained a second life in industrial applications. It is the technology of choice whenever long copper cables are already deployed or required, e.g. for remote power feeding. More and more industrial applications rely on SHDSL as a robust long-reach communication technology. Examples are surveillance cameras, vending machines, public displays, infotainment systems, traffic control and industrial sense and control applications. And even the traditional business access segment offers growth opportunities in regions without fiber infrastructure.  For hotels, offices and shops out of fiber-reach, SHDSL service providers can offer 100 Mbps symmetrical rates over bonded phone lines, a tremendous value-add to the copper access infrastructure.

In recent years, Lantiq SOCRATES has become the de-facto standard and synonym for SHDSL communication. It is by far the most innovative product in the market and has gradually gained a very strong market position. Its worst case power consumption of 650 mW per line is only half that of the nearest competitive product. Digital and analog front ends are combined in one single 19 x 19 mm LBGA package and require only two supply voltages. On top of that, SOCRATES does not require separate memory and can be configured with a simple 8-bit micro controller. An integrated bonding engine distributes data streams from TDM, UTOPIA, MII and SS-MII interfaces to up to four SHDSL lines; in Dual Bearer Mode, TDM data and Ethernet packets can even coexist on the same lines. Lantiq continues to invest in the SOCRATES? business line. Future proof manufacturing processes and frequent firmware updates guarantee long-term availability, which is critical particularly in industrial markets.

The core standard ITU G.991.2.bis (G.SHDSL, Single Pair High Speed DSL) specifies data rates up to 5.7 Mbps per line and 23 Mbps with 4-pair bonding. A second relevant standard, IEEE  802.3ah (EFM, Ethernet over First Mile) specifies SHDSL-based Ethernet Phys for loop lengths beyond 750 meters. Lantiq SOCRATES? is 100% G.SHDSL and EFM standard compliant and offers best in class interoperability. But this isn’t where it ends. Lantiq goes beyond the standards and offers proprietary modes with substantially enhanced rate-reach performance.  Using one SOCRATES on each end, symmetrical rates up to 60 Mbps are possible. Typical rate / reach characteristics are shown in the diagram above. Reach can be extended further on thicker copper cables. For example, 300 kbps data rates can be achieved on one 1.4 mm radius copper pair over 50 kilometer!

Today, hundreds of Lantiq SOCRATES based applications are readily available in the market. New applications benefit from the maturity of the technology, the rich experience of design houses around the world and the unique Lantiq SHDSL tech support. New SHDSL designs have record time-to-market. Three months from start to volume ramp are not unusual. Lantiq SOCRATES systems provide unique reach/throughput performance out of a powerful single-chip solution.

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