NEL sampling second-generation 20-nm coherent DSP

NTT Electronics (NEL) says that its long-awaited follow-on to the merchant DSP ASIC used widely in the first generation of coherent transceivers has reached the sampling stage. The NLD0640, a co-development with Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) (see "NTT Electronics, Broadcom pair for coherent DSP"), is based on 20-nm technology to provide a low-power option for long-haul and metro coherent optical transceivers and line cards.

NTT Electronics (NEL) says that its long-awaited follow-on to the merchant DSP ASIC used widely in the first generation of coherent transceivers has reached the sampling stage. The NLD0640, a co-development with Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) (see "NTT Electronics, Broadcom pair for coherent DSP"), is based on 20-nm technology to provide a low-power option for long-haul and metro coherent optical transceivers and line cards.

The NLD0640 has provides an integrated Optical Transport Network (OTN) framer as well as transmitter mux chips. The combination of functionality and use of 20-nm technology offers a device that requires 70% less power and footprint versus the company’s first-generation 40-nm NLD0629 DSP.

Broadcom is supplying 20-nm signal-processing and enhanced mixed-signal technology to the project.

The chip supports three operational modes: the lowest power 80-km ZR mode, a power-managed metro mode that supports 1,200-km reaches, and a long-haul mode for distances greater than 2,000 km. It dissipates less than 20 W, which means it should be applicable to CFP and analog CFP2 coherent optical modules.

NEL says it expects the device, first announced in 2013, to be in production during the first quarter of 2015. With the success of its first-generation device, the company has significant good will in place with existing customers. However, it will have significantly more competition for upcoming designs, given the fact that ClariPhy Communications’ competing LightSpeed-II CL20010 system on a chip (SoC) is already in production and supports 200-Gbps operation as well as 100 Gbps (see "ClariPhy 200G coherent DSP chip reaches production").

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