NEC is working on a 16Gbps communication interface

More than three times faster than USB 3.0

INTEL JUST GOT some competition against its Light Peak interface, as NEC has just demoed a faster, yet to be named high-speed serial communications interface that can pull off speeds of up to 16Gbps. This puts Light Peak’s 10Gbps, er, in the shade.

NEC isn’t aiming for an external interface, unlike Intel and as a matter of fact, not even for an internal one, as instead it’s looking to use this newly developed technology as a “bus”. NEC is currently aiming it for applications in HD and 3D TVs, which are starting to require higher bandwidth interfaces due to the quickly increasing amount of data being shuffled to and inside them. 3D TV is bringing with it much larger demands for fast internal buses than regular HD TV. However, the interface can be used for pretty much anything else and NEC is talking about it being possible to facilitate the next generation of USB and PCI Express interfaces via its new bus.

What NEC has come up with is what it’s calling a “high-speed communication interface technology utilizing binary transmission schemes”, which relies on a “feed-forward type waveform equalization” which is typically found in the analogue signalling world rather than digital. This allows for the input signal to be branched which causes a slight delay by “one data period and is then added to the original input signal waveform”. This is done to reduce the interbit interference and removes the issue of feedback time constraint that NEC says conventional equalizers suffer from.

Although NEC is nowhere near a finished product, the company is working on integrating support into a wide range of “ultra high speed communication interfaces” that it is working on. NEC’s interface might primarily be for inter-chip communications, but if Intel intends to stick Light Peak in a wide range of consumer devices, we’re going to need something like what NEC is developing in the background to make sure there are no bottlenecks elsewhere in the system. Just one question, when will we be seeing storage devices that can cope with these kind of speeds?S|A

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