Design007 Magazine

Design007-Feb2019

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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2019 It's always nice to get out of the wintry East Coast in January, and once again, DesignCon was calling my name. Every year, 5,000 or so engineers descend on the Santa Clara Conven- tion Center for this signature industry event. This may have been the biggest show yet; there were packed aisles for much of the show with very few down times, even on the after- noon of the second day. Show managers UBM put on an ambitious event with over 100 ses- sions in the 15-track conference program as well as almost 200 exhibitors. Every DesignCon has an unofficial theme; a few years ago, it was the "Jitter Show." This year may have been the year for PAM4, four- level pulse amplitude modulation, which was the topic of a variety of presentations and one panel discussion. Used by the SerDes engi- neers who dwell in the 112 Gb/s arena, PAM4 data has three separate eyes and four levels, so it's a whole different ballgame. There's cur- rently a back-and-forth discussion between de- sign engineers about whether PAM4 is even necessary. Another big topic at DesignCon was 5G—one of the main components of IoT. Some engi- neers I spoke with said they were still search- ing for the perfect laminate for 5G, which is up to 1,000 times faster than 4G and features super-high bandwidth and low latency. There are still a lot more questions than answers re - garding 5G. There was a little bit of political talk with engineers worrying about Huawei's dominance of the 5G equipment market. The The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 The Future on Display at DesignCon

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