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August 22, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Gallium Arsenide semiconductor pioneer Vitesse Semiconductor Corp of Camarillo, Califoria has applied its technology to creating a superfast fibre optic multiplexor part, the VS8004, which it claims can run at clock speeds up to 2.5GHz. Vitesse is sampling 2.5GHz versions of the part now, and says production volumes will be available next month. Vitesse is pitching the multiplexor at telecommunications companies in the US, Canada, Japan and Europe that are planning to implement the Sonet Synchronous Optical Network standard. With its blindingly fast clock, the VS8004 will enable communication over long-haul fiber-optic networks at the ST3-48 level of 2.488Gbps. It handles incoming 4-bit parallel data at up to 625Mbps and outputs a serial bit stream at 2.5Gbps – and the company says it has tested some of the first working parts at up to 3.5GHz in its own lab. The company is also working on a companion 1:4 multiplexor, the VS8005, and says samples will be available in October.

Vitesse did not give prices for the multiplexors, but announced last week that it was slashing prices across the board price for its standard line of digital Gallium Arsenide parts. It puts the cuts down to the higher yields which have been realised because of Vitesse’s highly efficient proprietary production process. Cuts are up to 80% on its microprocessors, RAMs, standard telecommunications products and semi-custom gate arrays. In particular, it says that the VS12G422E 1K-bit static RAM, which has a 4nS address access time, plunges to $61 from $180 for quantities of one to nine. Quantities of 100 or more are down to $44 apiece. In the standard telecommunications arena, price reductions range from 40% to 70%, with the 1.25Gbps Sonet compatible VS8010 slower forerunner of the new VS8004, which combines an 8:1 multiplexor, a 1:8 demultiplexor, and Sonet frame recovery circuitry on a single chip, has been reduced to $283 from $980 in quantities of one to nine and $160 each for 1,000 or more.

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