Z-Plane “Z-Link” Products Provide a High Performance Packaging and Interconnect System For
Point-To-Point Serial Systems

Z-Plane “Z-Links” Deliver High-Speed Performance at Low Cost

The two-dimensional nature of printed circuit board backplanes is the source of many of the signal integrity problems in high-speed electronic systems, including excessive attenuation and system noise.

The new, innovative three-dimensional Z-Plane interconnect technology eliminates the signal via stubs and also removes the trace width routing restrictions, common to most backplane routing schemes, by using the space behind the board, in the "z-plane."  This proprietary design enables optimization of conductor/trace widths and minimizes conductive losses, by using “microstrip/coplanar transmission line” conductor configurations to minimize dielectric losses.

Front of Z-Plane 14 Slot Dual Star
ATCA Backplane system

Rear of Z-Plane 14 Slot Dual Star ATCA
Backplane with 3-D Z-Plane “Z-Links”

The Z-Plane design is compatible with PICMG 3.0 (Advanced TCA) and is compliant with the IEEE 802.3-2008 10GBASE-KR standard.


Z-Plane Insertion Loss (IL) Performance vs. IEEE Specification

The Z-Plane low-loss, impedance controlled signal path has been designed to accommodate bandwidths beyond 100G (Gbits/sec), using standard FR4 substrates and conventional manufacturing technology and existing processes.  Z-Plane designs, when compared to existing solutions, provide:

  • Greater signal integrity at higher speeds
  • Lower insertion loss and crosstalk
  • Reduced costs, while conserving energy

This packaging and interconnection system presents a practical approach to solving the problems of high bandwidth electronic packaging.  Using conventional materials, existing processes and available connector designs, it does this in a way that improves the overall system performance, while reducing both engineering and manufacturing costs.  It can accommodate a variety of network configurations, including legacy systems, and is scalable in size and performance well into the future.

Additional products have been designed, are in development, and will be coming soon.