The Fibre Channel electrical interface
is one of two related standards that can be used to physically interconnect computer devices. The other standard is a Fibre Channel optical interface, which is not covered in this article.
Fibre Channel signal characteristics
Fibre channel electrical signals are sent over a duplex differential
interface. This usually consists of twisted-pair cables with a nominal impedance
of 75 ohms
(single-ended) or 150 ohms (differential). This is a genuine differential signalling system so no ground reference is carried through the cable, except for the shield. Signalling is AC-coupled
, with the series capacitors located at the transmitter end of the link.
The definition of the Fibre Channel signalling voltage is complex. Eye-diagrams
are defined for both the transmitter and receiver. There are many eye-diagram parameters which must all be met to be compliant with the standard. In simple terms, the transmitter circuit must output a signal with a minimum of 600 mV peak-to-peak differential, maximum 2000 mV peak-to-peak differential. A good signal looks rather like a sine-wave with a fundamental frequency of half the data rate, so 1 GHz for a typical system running at 2 gigabits
The Bit-Error Rate
(BER) objective for Fibre Channel systems is 1 in 10<sup>12</sup> (1 bit in 1,000,000,000,000 bits). At 2 Gbit
/s this equates to seven errors per hour. Therefore, this is a common event and the receiver circuitry must... Read More