Inphi's modulator driver supports design of 40G and 100G transponders

MARCH 26, 2009 -- The company has unveiled its 28-Gbps differential Mach-Zehnder modulator driver in a surface-mount ceramic QFN package at OFC/NFOEC.

MARCH 26, 2009 -- Inphi Corp. (search Lightwave for Inphi), a fabless semiconductor company, has announced what it touts as the industry's first 28-Gbps differential Mach-Zehnder modulator driver (2811DZ) in a compact 7x7-mm2 surface-mount ceramic QFN package. The patented 2811DZ has a footprint 90% smaller than existing metal packages and is designed for next-generation 40G differential quadrature phase-shift keying (DQPSK) and 100G dual-polarization QPSK transponders.

Current 40G transponders are designed using components in large and expensive metal packages with microwave connectors. In order to enable widespread deployment of 40G and 100G technologies, the company says, innovations must be based upon surface-mount technology to reduce transponder size and cost without compromising signal integrity.

"Inphi is driving the ecosystems to transition from metal packages with microwave connectors to surface-mount solutions," says Loi Nguyen, vice president of technology, Inphi. "Inphi is working closely with industry leaders to develop the next generation of compact, lower-cost surface-mount 40G and 100G components. The 2811DZ underscores our leadership in driving next-generation solutions for 40G/100G telecom infrastructure applications."

Unlike competing single-ended solutions, the 2811DZ's patented differential architecture results in the largest output swing, 9 Vpp typical, necessary to drive all leading 40G DQPSK modulators in the market, says Inphi. According to the company, its differential design is appropriate for interfacing with other components on a PC board without incurring significant losses and excessive jitter. A reference design on PC board is available to assist customers with the design of high-speed differential transmission lines.

The 2811DZ is immediately available in engineering samples.

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