Zarlink sampling Optical Engine for small size, low power data center interconnect

MARCH 30, 2010 -- Zarlink Semiconductor (TSX: ZL) announced last week at OFC/NFOEC that it is sampling its Zarlink Optical Engine (ZOE), a speed-scalable family of multi-channel optical subassemblies designed to enable manufacturers to implement lower power, more efficient interconnects for data centers and computer clusters.

MARCH 30, 2010 -- Zarlink Semiconductor (TSX: ZL) announced last week at OFC/NFOEC that it is sampling its Zarlink Optical Engine (ZOE), a speed-scalable family of multi-channel optical subassemblies designed to enable manufacturers to implement lower power, more efficient interconnects for data centers and computer clusters.

“Data center and computer cluster operators are demanding lower power optical products for equipment interconnect that support higher data rate performance,” said Bertil Kronlund, product line manager with Zarlink’s Optical Products Group. “Our ZOE platform is a precise flip-chip array optical subassembly that is ultra-compact in size and form factors, delivering per-channel data rates to 14 Gbps and supporting a clear technology path to 25 Gbps per channel for up to 300 Gbps aggregate of full bidirectional data traffic. The products deliver significant signal integrity, power-per-bit, and cost-per-bit advantages over any previous data center interconnect products.”

The ZOE optical subassembly comprises a 4- or 12-channel optical light source and detector, array electronic transmitter, and receive ICs precision-mounted on a “flip-chipable” glass subcomponent carrier with an external array-fiber coupler in a 7x7-mm footprint. The platform includes products that terminate 40- to 120-Gbps full bidirectional optical links or array unidirectional (e.g., HDMI) or serial function while supporting signal integrity, data density, and power efficiency. For example, in 4x10-Gbps applications the ZOE platform consumes less than 0.5 W while delivering the industry’s highest footprint density per gigabit, Zarlink asserts.

Lead customers are currently sampling the first ZOE 40G products, with full commercial release planned for first half of this calendar year. ZOE evaluation kits are available now through Zarlink’s optical product group sales team.

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