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Samtec Firefly copper Twinax carries 4 lanes of 28Gbps data over 6 feet of cable attached to Xilinx VCU118 UltraScale+ Dev Kit

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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Here’s a great, very short video from Samtec showing its Firefly QSFP28 copper “flyover” cable carrying four lanes of 28Gbps serial data error free over six feet of copper Twinax cable with plenty of margin. (It’s a 3-foot cable with the signals looped back at one end in a passive loop with no repeaters.)


That’s an amazing feat! The 28Gbps data streams are both transmitted from and received by the same Xilinx VCU118 Dev Kit board, which is based on a Xilinx Virtex UltraScale+ VU9P FPGA. Samtec’s video uses its FMC+ Active Loopback Card for the demo.


If you do this sort of thing on a pcb—even using a super-advanced, super-high-speed, ultra-low-loss pcb dielectric material like Panasonic’s MEGTRON6—your on-board reach is only five to eight inches. So Samtec’s Firefly system really extends your reach for these very high-speed data streams.


There are two main reasons why this high-speed signal-transmission system works:


  1. The superior performance of Samtec’s Firefly copper Twinax interconnect.
  2. The bulletproof GTY SerDes transceivers in the Virtex UltraScale+ VU9P FPGA.



Here’s the 2.5-minute Samtec video demo:





And here’s Samtec’s original 3-minute Firefly/UltraScale+ demo video, mentioned in the above video:





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