MAX3800: Equalizing Gigabit Copper Cable Links with the MAX3800


Interconnecting communication systems with short-distance high-speed serial data links is a growing need. Until now, most chassis extensions or rack-to-rack connections over 20 feet relied on copper cable at rates of 1Gbps and below. Some links are operating at 2.5Gbps over copper, but for 10 feet or less. All other links at 2.5Gbps rely on optical transmission for distances of 50 feet or more. With the introduction of the MAX3800 adaptive cable equalizer, it is possible to span 100 feet at up to 3.2Gbps with inexpensive copper cable. Although the MAX3800 was designed to compensate copper cable, it can be used to compensate circuit board transmission lines. The data presented in this design note is a brief survey of the MAX3800's performance with a few different cables and a sample of common FR4 board material. Read full article.