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Re: [Fwd: 1000BASE-T PCS question], Importance of DC Balance

And we can safely assume that IBM's ownership of the 
8B/10B patent does not impact you professional
opinion at all.

At 08:54 AM 6/3/99 -0400, widmer@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
>How important is DC Balance? This question is best answered by the engineers 
>design the critical three circuits (Laser Driver, Receiver Preamplifier, Clock
>Recovery), the persons who package the electrical and optical components, and
>those who design the verification and production tests. Given an option, they
>generally prefer a code with DC balance and a short run length. After
>consultation with colleagues active in those endeavors, I can offer the
>following list of circuit related advantages of a transmission code such
as the
>Fibre Channel 8B/10B code:
>   Level settings of the laser driver bias point  and the receiver threshold 
>   be based on the average signal level which is simpler and more precise than
>   using level restoring circuits. The receiver level restore circuits usually
>   require some type of peak detection circuits which are difficult to 
>   if the electronics is pushed to its limits. Peak detector noise may cause
>   higher noise levels than otherwise expected because of the peak detectors
>   tendency to capture occasional large noise excursions. The design of a peak
>   detector which is both accurate and fast requires difficult inherent
>   compromises.
>   Thermal cycling of lasers or LED's is eliminated.
>   Capacitive coupling  and level shifting is possible without
complications to
>   accommodate various package, grounding, and power supply configurations at
>   the transmitter or receiver. At frequencies above 5 GHz it is hard to find
>   capacitors which work well with unbalanced bit patterns for various
>   Capacitive differential coupling at the front end of optical receivers with
>   small integrated capacitors is more easily accomplished and provides better
>   noise margins. At the lower data rates, designers may still include offset
>   compensation circuits with a balanced code to reduce the capacitance values
>   to a range compatible with integration in monolithic circuits. Such
>   compensation circuits require less precision and complexity for a balanced
>   code.
>   Receivers at the end of computer or LAN links generally require a large
>   dynamic range which is more readily achieved with a balanced code.
>   Attenuation in electrical package interconnects is on the order of 1 
>dB/cm at
>   the fundamental frequency of 10 GHz and much higher for the frequencies
>   needed to transmit fast pulse edges. Any transmission line is easier to
>   equalize for balanced codes because of the lower ratio of the maximum to
>   minimum frequency content.
>   It is desirable to set the low frequency cutoff of receivers as high as
>   possible to remove noise from several   sources, such as: power supply 
>   low frequency modal noise arising from movements of multimode fibers,
or 1/f
>   noise of front end devices, especially GaAs devices not optimized for low
>   noise analog operation . For low and moderate cost highly integrated
>   it is usually not possible to pick the best devices which otherwise
might be
>   used.
>   The shorter run length of a good code allows much relaxed
specifications for
>   the clock recovery circuit. The lower Q of the PLL enables it to cope with
>   more external noise interference such as digital noise coupling from
>   neighboring circuits, power supply variations,  or totally external
>   electromagnetic interference. It is less problematic to place a  PLL with a
>   lower Q on a large digital chip with limited isolation for a fully 
>   solution. The low pass filter of the PLL is more readily implemented
with an
>   on-chip capacitor or a totally digital solution (random walk filter)
and the
>   phase comparator is simpler for the coded version.
>   For links carrying scrambled traffic, the link jitter budget expressed as a
>   percentages of a baud interval  allows much less jitter for the transmitter
>   which significantly complicates the design of the frequency
synthesizer, the
>   laser driver, and the connection between the driver and the laser.
>   Simpler circuits consume less power in a critical area.
>   Scrambled data requires nearly ideal circuit implementations in the areas
>   discussed above. Cost considerations, design time  and skill limitations 
>   the attainment of near perfection for the 10 Gb Ethernet application an
>   unrealistic goal. Less than perfect circuits have a greater hidden cost in
>   terms of signal to noise ratio for scrambled data. For a given baud and 
>   rate, the coded link can span a longer distance with less sophisticated
>   circuits.
>   The design, performance simulation, test, and trouble shooting is
>   for a well constrained code. The robust operation of the coded link depends
>   on no assumptions about the data pattern of the traffic. The
performance can
>   be proven with a few well defined worst case patterns tailored for
>   the major performance parameters. There is no exposure to hacking via the
>   data pattern. This is in contrast with scrambled links for which
>   in practice  can only be verified for a statistical consensus pattern and
>   where it is always possible to come up with data patterns which cause the
>   system to fail.

Haim Shafir
e9 Inc.
PH 408-343-0192 cell 408-892-1838 fax 408-873-2642