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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 08, 2012

Intersil Corporation Unveils Active Cable System Solution

By Deepika Mala, TMCnet Contributor

Intersil Corporation, a major player in the design and manufacture of high-performance analog, mixed-signal and power management semiconductors, has recently introduced an active cable solution to support Thunderbolt cables.

Officials said that the active cable system solution features the ISL37231, the industry's first 40nm active cable IC, and the ISL80083 companion power management IC.

The ISL37231 provides the industry's lowest power and highest performance for a broad range of inexpensive cable types including Shielded Twisted Pair, Twinax and Microcoax. Media optimized adaptive equalization; de-emphasis and signal retiming are some of its advanced features.

Purpose-built to efficiently power the ISL37231 transceiver in Thunderbolt cables, Intersil's ISL80083 integrates a highly efficient 2.5MHz synchronous buck regulator, low power linear regulator, level shifters and input rail selector, and also contributes to a much lower solution cost.

Simpler, Smarter Solution Intersil's ISL37231 high-speed signal processing IC, together with the ISL80083 power management IC, provides a complete and highly integrated solution.

The active cable system solution also provides two bi-directional channels with a combined transfer rate of 20Gbps. With the help of this, users are able to easily interconnect Thunderbolt-enabled products with a single thin cable, and daisy-chain up to six devices.

Moreover, Smarter Integration, Lowest Power, Patent-Pending Cable Compensation Techniques and Built-In Test are some of the other striking features of the solution.

"We've set the stage for an unprecedented low price point for Thunderbolt cables," said Roger Levinson, vice president and general manager for Intersil's signal path products group, in a press release. "This will promote the simple, high-speed interconnection of peripherals that lead to enhanced digital experiences. Our 40nm technology reduces the cost of every variable in the cable manufacturing process, enabling the widespread adoption of Thunderbolt technology."

In related news, Intersil Corporation introduced the Pico-qHD, the world's lowest cost pico projector system, and the industry's smallest production-ready LED-based LCoS Pico Projector solution.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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