Ready for High-speed Datacom

SCHOTT Lays Foundation for 17 Gbit/s Applications with TO PLUS Line

(PresseBox) ( Landshut, )
The fiber channel protocol offers plenty of potential for meeting the rising data transmission requirements. SCHOTT Electronic Packaging now offers a hermetic Transistor Outline (TO) ready to serve tomorrow's Fiber Channel applications of 17 gigabits/second and beyond.

The earliest message transmitted digitally over the Arpanet, the predecessor of the internet, was rather brief. It spelled "LOG" for "login". These three letters of 1 byte each instantly caused a network crash. Today, as estimated by the University of Minnesota, 3000-5000 PB (PetaByte = 1015 bytes = bytes) are being distributed over the internet every month.

The worldwide infrastructure needs to offer ever higher bandwidth and data transmission rates as demands continue to increase at an incredible pace. Video on demand, online shopping, music streaming and online collaboration on projects are but a few examples of applications that require significantly higher data rates. As more and more people go online, storage area networks (SANs) require much greater bandwidth.

Transistor Outline (TO) technology was first introduced in the 1950s. Since then it has considerably evolved and continuously expanded its limits in terms of efficiency and application range. Hermetic TO packages made of glass- and/or ceramic-to-metal seals provide reliable long-term protection of sensitive electronic devices and thus ensure signal transmittance at certain points, even under most difficult environmental conditions.

Now the results of recent simulation testing at SCHOTT Electronic Packaging is convincing many industry experts that the fiber channel protocol offers plenty of potential for meeting tomorrow's data transmission requirements of 17 gigabits/second and beyond.

Because global enterprises are still faced with the task of managing larger amounts of data, the global fiber channel storage area network (SAN) switch market continues to grow strongly. According to recent research from the Gartner Group, this segment grew by 20% from 2005 to 2006 alone.

Although fiber channel is currently specified at speeds ranging from 1 to 10 Gbit/s, Robert Hettler, Head of Research and Development Opto-Electronics at SCHOTT Electronic Packaging, says that several of its customers are now testing its advanced TO PLUS Line of products to successfully achieve capacities of 17 Gbits/second.

Although 2G fiber channel deployments did not really become popular until 2000, the industry is currently migrating to higher capacities at a much higher pace. As technology matures, fiber channel systems witness a drop in average port cost that is typical of a high-tech industry.

Because the 4 Gbit/s is currently somewhat saturated, many in the industry are now calling for higher transmission rates. Furthermore, the fact that the same packaging rules generally apply to 8 Gbit/s solutions and beyond is encouraging many customers in the opto-electronics industry to look into higher rates.

Today, SCHOTT already offers a completely hermetic TO solution that is capable of handing 17 Gbit/s. Nevertheless, Rohit Bhosale, R&D Manager for SCHOTT Electronic Packaging in Singapore, notes that it is still very important for customers to be aware of a few application-specific aspects. The TO PLUS Line overcomes the normal limitations of a TO by combining innovative ideas that rely on glass and packaging design aspects.

Because TO PLUS Line products can have as many as 6 pins, including higher frequency and DC (electrical) ports, customers are able to package most of the necessary electronics into a regular TO footprint, rather than resorting to bulky and more complex hybrid packages. Along with these additional pins, TO PLUS Line products from SCHOTT feature excellent RF performance, in a standard footprint that is ideal for many contract manufacturers and is ready to serve tomorrow's 17 G Fiber Channel applications.

As a business unit of SCHOTT, Electronic Packaging is a leading manufacturer of housings and other components for the reliable, long-term protection for sensitive electronics. The core technologies are glass-to-metal and ceramic-to-metal sealing, thermal sensing components as well as a variety of cutting edge specialty glass competences. With 1,500 employees at four production locations and several competence centers around the world, local customer support and co-developments for individual packaging solutions are at the heart of the business, serving the world's leading manufacturers in the automotive, data- and telecommunication, sensors and semiconductors, consumer electronics, dental care, home appliances, laser as well as security and tracking industries.

Further tests are underway at SCHOTT Electronic Packaging to enable the TO to perform beyond 17G and potentially serve the 25G regime, results of which would be available in autumn 2008.
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