Fiber Channel

[Fiber Channel Description]
[Interface ICs] [Fiber Channel Standards]

Fiber Channel Description

Fibre Channel [FC] is a point-to-point serial bi-directional interface operating up to 1.0625Gbps. Supporting protocol include: SCSI, IP, ATM, HIPPI, IEEE 802.2 over Fiber (10 kilometers), Coax (75 meters) or Twisted pair (33 meters); between devices. Copper will support up to 100MBs, while Fiber will operate up to 400MBs. Each device acts as a repeater producing a communication path of any length; the devices are connected in a loop [Token [Dual] Ring topology]. Twisted pair cables are crossed-linked, with TX lines crossed to RX lines between driver and receiver. Backplane communication is also supported, and is also connected in a loop ~ one end of the path connects to the input device the other end of the path connects to the output device. Fibre Channel, now runs at speeds as high as 2.125 Gbps [200 Mbytes/sec] over twisted-pair copper or optical-interconnect [optical distances up to 10 km]. Fibre Channel is primarily used in high-end server SANs (storage-area networks). Additional rates include 4GFC [4.24Gbps, 400MBps], and 8GFC [8.5Gbps, 800MBps]. The Bit Error rate [BER] is defined at 10-12.
10 Gigabit Fibre Channel [10GFC] is an extension of the physical layer of Fibre Channel. 10GFC runs at 12.75GBd [GigaBaud]

Communication is Asynchronous, Bi-Directional interface with a variable frame length up to 2048 bytes, with a 24 byte header. Bytes are 10 bits long, each forming a character, with 4 characters making a word [Transmission Word]. CRC is used for error checking [Cyclic Redundancy Check is the same 32-bit CRC used in FDDI]. Fibre Channel Uses 8B/10B encoding ( each 8 bit byte is translated into a 10 bit character in order to equalize the numbers of 1's and 0's sent).

The Electrical Interface [EL] uses ECL signaling levels via an unbalanced 75W line or a balanced 150W line(s). LVPECL is used for high speed signals, while SSTL_2 level are used for lower speed control signals.
The Optical uses: [LL]: long wave laser (1300 nm), [SL]: short wave laser (780 nm), or [LE]: LED (1300 nm).

.. SC type connectors to IEC 61754-4-5
.. SG type connectors to EIA-604-7
.. LC type connectors to EIA-604-10
.. MT-RJ type connectors to EIA-604-12
Electrical unbalanced:
.. BNC, TNC type (style 1) connectors an for unbalanced 75W electrical interface to IEC 169-8, IEC 169-17
.. SMA type (style 2) connectors an for unbalanced 50W electrical interface to IEC 169-15
.. Electrical interfaces may use either or both style 1 and style 2 connectors. The cable will consist of TX+, TX-, RX+, RX- and a cable shield.
Electrical balanced:
.. 9-Pin D-subminiature type (style 1) connectors an for balanced 75W electrical interface to IEC 807-3
..... Pinout for a 9-pin D Connector: Pin 1 TX+, Pin 6 TX-, Pin 5 RX+, Pin 9 RX-, Shell Cable shield
.. 8-Pin (RJ-like) type (style 2) connectors an for balanced 75W electrical interface to IEC 61076-3-103
..... Pinout for an 8-Pin (RJ-like) Connector: Pin 1 TX+, Pin 3 TX-, Pin 6 RX-, Pin 8 RX+, Shell Cable shield
Color coding for fiber cables is located on the Wire Insulation Color Code page, or Connector Manufacturers

Fibre Channel uses three different topologies:
Point-To-Point; in which only two devices are directly connected together.
Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL); with up to 127 devices on a single network. Each device must arbitrate to grain access to the loop.
Fabric; The Switch used to interconnect the devices.

SCSI-FCP ANSI X3.269-1996 Fibre Channel Protocol for SCSI
FC-FP ANSI X3.254-1994 Fibre Channel - Mapping - to HIPPI-FC
FC-AE ANSI xxxxx Fibre Channel Avionics Environment
FC-PI ANSI xxxxx Fibre Channel Physical Interfaces

Fibre Channel Layers:
FC-0: Physical Layer [Transmitters, Receivers], Signaling
FC-1: Transmission Protocol, 8B/10B character encoding
FC-2: Signaling Protocol, Media Access Control (MAC), Frame format, Sequence management, Exchange management, Flow Control
FC-3: Services for multiple ports on one node
FC-4: Upper Layer Protocol (ULP) mapping, SCSI, IP, ATM, HIPPI, IEEE 802.2

FC-AL 40-pin Backplane Connector Pinout
Pin Function Pin Function
1 -EN bypass port A 21 12 Volt charge
2 12 Volts 22 Ground
3 12 Volts 23 Ground
4 12 Volts 24 Channel 1 input +
5 Reserved 25 Channel 1 input -
6 Reserved 26 Ground
7 Active LED out 27 Channel 2 input +
8 Spindle sync 28 Channel 2 input -
9 Remote start 29 Ground
10 Delayed start 30 Channel 1 output +
11 -EN bypass port B 31 Channel 1 output -
12 SEL_6 32 Ground
13 SEL_5 33 Channel 2 output +
14 SEL_4 34 Channel 2 output -
15 SEL_3 35 Ground
16 Fault LED output 36 SEL_2
17 Reserved 37 SEL_1
18 Reserved 38 SEL_0
19 5 Volts 39 Reserved
20 5 Volts 40 5 Volt charge

Interface IC's; FiberChannel

Critical io {Core building block for embedded Fibre Channel interfaces}

Fairchild Semiconductor, Corp. {Fiber Channel Transceiver IC}

Fujikura America, Inc. {Differential PECL serial I/O interface ICs}

LSI Corporation {Fiber Channel Controller IC}

Sony Semiconductor {Gigabit Ethernet/Fibre Channel, 10-bit transceiver}

Triquint Semiconductor {Fibre Channel devices}

IC Manufacturers {All other types}

{Fiber Channel Index}

Online Standards Info; FiberChannel

Draft Specifications may be available at

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Modified: 3/04/12
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