PCIe-Over-FireFly demonstration at DesignCon 2017

Samtec, a privately held $6.25bn global manufacturer of a broad line of electronic interconnect solutions, will participate in the DesignCon 2017 conference and exhibition at the Santa Clara Convention Center, January 31st-February 2nd.

Samtec’s Director of Signal Integrity Jim Nadolny will be presenting a 45-minute technical paper session covering ‘Design of Flyover QSFP28 (FQSFP Series) for 56+Gbps Applications.’ This white paper presentation will demonstrate how Samtec achieved at least four times lower trace insertion loss with FQSFP for 56+ Gbps applications by replacing typical PCB trace based QSFP with flyover twinax cables to connect the receiver circuit to the port.

The product demonstration will showcase a disaggregated computing platform with PCIe Gen 3 fabric enabled by the patented FireFly mid-board technology. By using PCIe-over-Fiber, storage and GPU can be located 100 meters away, demonstrating the opportunity for new HPC/Data Center architectures that benefit from the high-performance, low latency that the PCIe protocol enables.


Samtec offers a broad line of electronic interconnects including IC-to-Board and IC Packaging, High-Speed Board-to-Board, High-Speed Cables, Mid-Board and Panel Optics, Flexible Stacking, and Micro/Rugged components and cables. This enables us to provide overall ‘Silicon-to-Silicon’ system optimization from the bare die to an interface 100 meters away and all interconnect points in between.

Samtec’s flyover QSFP28 cable assembly (FQSFP Series) achieves 28 Gbps performance and is backward compatible with all QSFP assemblies. This direct attach system, with press-fit tails that provide low speed signals and power to the PCB, allows drivers to be remotely located for design flexibility and greater control over thermal cooling. Signal integrity is optimized by flying critical data over lossy PCB via Samtec’s ultra-low skew pair twinax cable with inherently lower attenuation. Re-timers are not required reducing cost and power consumption.

ExaMAX high-speed backplane system (EBTM/EBTF-RA series) enables 28Gbps performance on a 2.00mm column pitch with a roadmap to 56Gbps. This rugged system has the industry’s lowest mating force with excellent normal force, a 2.4mm contact wipe and two points of contact for high reliability. Among other industry specifications, ExaMAX exceeds OIF CEI-28G-LR for 28Gbps standards and meets the Telcordia GR-1217 CORE specification. The roadmap for ExaMAX products includes cable, direct mate orthogonal, mid-plane orthogonal and coplanar.

Edge Rate HD – Samtec’s 0.635mm pitch, high-speed, multi-row strip – packages the same reliable contact system and ease of processing found in the SEARAY family in an even smaller and higher-density strip design. With both the four-row (5mm wide) and two-row (2.5mm wide; in development) versions capable of supporting 28+Gbps applications, as well as multiple next-generation protocols, Edge Rate HD (EDM6/EDF6 series) is the future of high-speed strips at Samtec, and in the industry.

Samtec’s x4 duplex 28Gbps FireFly optical engine (ECUO Series) brings its industry-leading density to the 100 Gbps Datacom/Telecom and HPC markets. Designed with thermal optimization in mind, options are available for both forced air and cold plate cooling scenarios. The integral dual-band CDR was designed to work with the latest Ethernet and InfiniBand protocol specifications. This x4 duplex architecture, while offering an extremely small footprint on the board, makes FireFly ideal for communications within a rack, or between racks.

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