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RE: HARI Systems Design

Joel and all:

I agree with Joel that HARI may bring in some benefit from theoretical logic
design point of view; however, it violates many of the high frequency, and
cost effective circuit design practices we have been implementing
successfully in the products.

I believe we should bring up more circuit design issues to the table to
further evaluate the right way to utilize HARI -- is it a "MUST",

I understand that the reason HARI was proposed is that we like to extend
high frequency PC runs (beyond 2.5 Gbps) to over 20 inches to distribute
multiple channel data through a back plane to multiple locations within the
equipment.  From this objective, HARI is doing the right thing to take the
skew away by re-timing and deskewing the parallel runs from logic design
point of view.

However, it violates a lot of high-frequency circuit design rules; as a
result, it may make HARI a unreliable block in a system.

Furthermore, additional circuit, HARI, is working against our successful,
Ethernet practice of keeping it simple, and low-cost -- unless we prove HARI
is a "MUST" for 10GbE product, it should be an optional block.

For an extremely high frequency PC layout, the path-length should be kept as
short as possible.  The PCB characteristic impedance has about +/- 20%
tolerance which will cause waveform distortion being severe enough at 2.5
Gbps data rate to cause excessive errors.   Even the skew is minimized by
deskew circuit, the waveform distortion by reflection will cause excessive
JITTER by altering the bit-timing information of each bit (bit-cell timing
near 300 ps), which provides the deskew circuit a wrong data.  This is one
of the reasons that high frequency transceiver and PLL are preferred to be
in one chip.

Over 2.5 Gbps, and at 20" PC run length, the signal amplitude will be
drastically reduced for each inch the signal travels to cause the
destination data without sufficient Signal-to-Noise ratio -- inviting for
excessive errors.  In addition, the rise time will be drastically increased
to add further jitter to cause wrong data into deskew circuit.

The higher the data rate, the capacitive and inductive coupling noise are
higher which are  linearly proportional to data rate, and the parallel
length (20" parallel is excessive at 2.5 Gbps).  A ground plan between two
adjacent signals may reduce crosswalk but not necessarily eliminate it -- no
absolute assurance of eliminating the crosswalk effect.  Furthermore, the
radiation issues will much tougher to resolve.

The PC runs through the backplane have to go through connectors to create
waveform distortion caused by impedance mis-match of connectors.  At 300 pc
cell time, any glitch could be the sauce  of errors.

Unfortunately, circuit problems are very difficult to debug, which show up
as excessive random  errors.  Some time, it takes over six months to find
it, then there is no simple cure.

I further agree with Joel, that HARI will unnecessarily use up the most
valuable area of a PC board; namely, high frequency area.  I also agree that
HARI will add more power consumption to what we are struggling to reduce.
All of these are counter productive, unless HAIR is "MUST" for the product.
Perhaps, HARI can be an option feature.

The system architecture are flexible.  There are so many ways to achieve the
same result. I am not sure that to integrate all channels which are
inherently distributed in one big chip is the most cost-effective way to do
it, considering all the potential problems.  I would think a modular
approach with scalability may prove to be more cost-effective and more
flexible to use from architecture point of view.

I would hope some one will present test data to assure the performance,
before we have to vote with some reservations.


Ed Chang
NetWorth Technologies, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-stds-802-3-hssg@xxxxxxxx
[mailto:owner-stds-802-3-hssg@xxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Joel Goergen
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 1999 8:59 AM
Subject: HARI Systems Design

Hello all and Happy Holidays.

I am very perplexed about a few issues that really bother me.  First,
and for most, the comment:  "Don't you think that this is either a
little early, or does someone have a hidden agenda?"  from Roy's email
this morning in one of the many HARI threads.  Unless I am mistaken, I
have not viewed this, nor any proposal by anyone as a hidden agenda.  If
you did call HARI a hidden agenda, then you could call two phys a hidden
agenda, SONET a hidden agenda, etc, etc.  Correct me if I am wrong,
people, but I thought all the presentations were from people who believe
they have a good idea to offer to the standard, might benifit them a
little, but still a good presentation - or have I just stayed on the
farm a little too long?

In terms of systems design, "As for real estate on the PC board.
Vendors need to think about reducing the size
of their boards and systems.  More and more floor space is being taken
by these systems as well as power and cooling.  Reducing the size of the
boards, reducing the amount of electronics, reducing power requirements,
and increasing the density of the connections is becoming an issue in
large installations, like those that will use P802.3ae.  Hari tends to
take exactly the opposite direction in system design.  Hari makes it
easy for the system designer to become sloppy, not requiring them to
become tighter and better."  I think I would like to take this line by

Vendors need to think about reducing the size of their boards and
systems : Well, how about customers should require less features.  Then
I wouldn't have to go to extraordinary means to get all the components
shoved into a small bucket.  If you want less power, less space, less
connections, then drop some features.

Board Size:  We fit more onto boards today on a gate per sq in level
then we ever have at a lower price.  We are beginning to abandon fr-4
for newer materials at less cost per route length and more routing

Thermal and power: Reducing voltages to 2.5v and 3.3v have helped.
Power bricks are getting much more efficient.  Using CMOS over GaAs and
Bipolar have helped.  We are all required to meet Telcordia
requirements, so there is only so much heat per sq foot we are allowed
to produce.  Space and thermal and weight ARE already a standard.

Hari makes it easy for the system designer to become sloppy, not
requiring them to become tighter and better: Wow!  Hari or something
similar does no such thing.  It allows the designer the ability to
re-partition the problem.  But, on the other hand, maybe I should be
against Hari because then that would force most people to think about
10gig serial streams for long distances on copper traces ( which most
companies can not aford to develop ) and go with very wide 622mhz data
paths so my boards get thicker and more expensive - this allows the
designer the greater headache of routing and board fab issues.  I don't
know, if sloppy were true, all of us would be out of business.  I have
seen most of the systems available today and we all pretty much design
the same, have the same issues, and make the same trade-offs to supply
the customer all the features they require to make the sale.

So, in summary, Hari is a starting place, as I have mentioned before.
Even the GMII and MII, etc have issues.  But we have a proposal(s) of a
start .... how about we try to constructively look at what hari solves
or doesn't solve.  So how do we design Hari to be 'phy independent'?
Because at the moment, Hari solves most of my SI issues.  Oh yeah, the
job description for the SI guy is as follows : Comes up with last minute
desperate solutions to impossible problems caused by the System