Both at home and at work, we are becoming increasingly accustomed to conveniences like high-definition video streaming, millisecond financial transactions and on-demand software as a service (SaaS). To support the ballooning requirement for higher rates of data transfer, the modern-day data center has been quietly on the forefront of high-tech innovation.
A field that began rather humbly, focusing on megabits-per-second data transfer, is now a complex and vibrant ecosystem of mechanical and electrical standards for storage and networking, ranging from 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps. Yet while data centers continue to push technical boundaries each year, it is still normal to hear phrases like “black magic” and “voodoo” used in high-speed design centers.
Hardware designers implementing high-speed interfaces in their storage and networking enterprise systems often rely on sophisticated, expensive design tools to increase their confidence in new chassis designs before proceeding to hardware fabrication. However, system designers lack an easy-to-use tool that can help them narrow down their solutions before beginning more intensive system simulations. In the absence of a simplified simulation tool, system modeling can become complex and prohibitive for smaller businesses or “white box” server vendors (unbranded servers offered by contract manufacturers). To simplify and accelerate the product selection and validation process for every customer, TI has released a groundbreaking new high-speed simulation tool—WEBENCH® Interface Designer.
WEBENCH Interface Designer is a free, browser-based interface design and simulation tool that enables designers to:
- Visualize their high-speed link by selecting TI interface ICs and custom channel properties to model their system
- Analyze the electrical performance and specification compliance of their links by using a built-in, Input/Output Buffer Information Specification (IBIS) Algorithmic Modeling Interface (AMI) standard-compliant signal integrity analysis engine
- Optimize their design by leveraging the full configurability of IBIS AMI models and a real-time eye diagram plot for quick iteration. Link optimization is a unique capability of this tool, reducing iterations when trying to find the optimal design parameters.
Industry professionals will have an opportunity to see Interface Designer live at DesignCon 2015, booth #817, where TI and FCI will be demonstrating an Interface Designer simulation side by side with real hardware, leveraging TI’s DS125BR820 multiprotocol redriver and FCI’s AirMax VS2™ connector. TI is also pushing the boundaries of data center innovation, demonstrating 25 Gbps signal conditioning with FCI (booth #817) and TE Connectivity (booth # 743). For more product information, see www.ti.com/sigcon.
To test Interface Designer for yourself, go to ti.com/webenchinterface and push some boundaries of your own.