MultiPhy promises direct detect 400-Gbps chips at OFC 2014

High-speed communications semiconductor supplier MultiPhy Ltd. says it will unveil technology capable of transmitting 400 Gbps via direct detection next week at OFC 2014 in San Francisco.

High-speed communications semiconductor supplier MultiPhy Ltd. says it will unveil technology capable of transmitting 400 Gbps via direct detection next week at OFC 2014 in San Francisco.

The company is the leading supplier of silicon for line-side 100-Gbps direct-detect applications (see, for example, “MultiPhy offers 100G PHY IC for metro networks”). While MultiPhy executives had discussed the possibility of creating DSP devices for metro coherent applications at ECOC 2012 (see “MultiPhy details 100-Gbps metro coherent DSP transceiver plans”), its focus has remained on direct detection as a more cost-effective approach to metro 100-Gbps optical transmission than coherent.

While many systems houses remain committed to coherent transmission as the best approach to supporting data rates of 100 Gbps and above, at least some platform vendors – notably ADVA Optical Networking, although MRV Communications Senior Director of Technical Marketing Scott Wilkinson also endorsed the approach in a recent Infonetics Research webcast – have offered a direct-detect option to their customers, particularly for data center interconnect applications. The technology also has found favor with some Internet exchange operators (see “DE-CIX Internet exchange taps ADVA Optical Networking 100-Gbps metro platform”).

Now that the attention of coherent technology designers has turned to 400G, MultiPhy appears to be moving in the same direction, again with a focus on data center and metro applications. “As growing capacity requirements demand more deployment of optical communications in data center applications, the use of advanced DSP technology in order to reach a cost-effective and power-efficiency solution becomes inevitable,” said Avi Shabtai, CEO at MultiPhy, in a company press release. “Leveraging the success of our first-generation product line, which integrates advanced DSP technology for data center interconnections, our pioneering next-generation technology will bring 400-Gbps solutions to the market at the right price and performance points.”

MultiPhy has released few details of the technology so far; Lightwave has sent an email requesting more. However, it’s to be expected that the 400-Gbps technology will support the same economic and simplicity advantages over coherent as it does at 100 Gbps.

For more information on communications ICs and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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