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Zarlink and Marvell claim first with synchronous Ethernet demo

Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. and Marvell Technology Inc. today announced the successful demonstration of a synchronou...


January 31, 2007  


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Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. and Marvell Technology Inc. today announced the successful demonstration of a synchronous Ethernet offering that the two say will allow carriers to support real-time services over packet-based networks.

“Carriers face a major stumbling block in the drive towards network convergence because many applications with “built-in” timing requirements rely significantly on network synchronization,” they said in a joint statement.

“For example, economical cellular backhaul over IP networks requires synchronization to allow legacy applications such as voice and fax to function properly. As high-growth applications such as YouTube and AOL Video gain popularity, these applications need to co-exist alongside critical time-sensitive services on IP backhaul networks.

“To guarantee performance, carriers must currently operate a number of different networks and deploy costly external mechanisms to ensure synchronization.”

In response, Ottawa-based Zarlink and Marvell’s collaborative efforts focus on emerging synchronous Ethernet products that allow carriers to support real-time services over asynchronous Ethernet networks.

In synchronous Ethernet operation, each piece of network equipment must have synchronized timing capabilities.

To meet this requirement, the companies have completed interoperability testing that showed that Zarlink’s ZL 30120 analog/digital PLL can synchronize a Marvell 88E1145 Ethernet physical layer device to a telecom networking timing reference, while generating a very low jitter (picoseconds) Ethernet clock.

This will enable developers of Ethernet switching and routing platforms to provide complete end-to-end solutions for next-generation IP networks.

“As IP networks become ubiquitous, the ability to accurately synchronize what is by design a best-effort infrastructure is just as critical as the data that is being carried across the network,” said Mel Roberts, Zarlink’s director of business development.