Inphi sampling Porrima Gen2 single-lambda PAM4 platform for low-power 400G QSFP-DD optical transceivers

Inphi Corp. (NYSE: IPHI) says it has begun sampling the Porrima Gen2 single-lambda PAM4 platform. The platform family includes a DSP with integrated laser drivers designed to enable sub-10-W 400-Gbps QSFP-DD optical transceivers, including 4x100G breakout support.

Feb 12th, 2019

Inphi Corp. (NYSE: IPHI) says it has begun sampling the Porrima Gen2 single-lambda PAM4 platform. The platform family includes a DSP with integrated laser drivers designed to enable sub-10-W 400-Gbps QSFP-DD optical transceivers, including 4x100G breakout support.

As the name implies, Porrima Gen2 builds on the original Porrima PAM4 platform family (see “Inphi Porrima 100-Gbps single lambda PAM4 silicon reaches sampling”). Gen2 features:

  • Power consumption consistent with <10-W DR4/FR4 optical module requirements per IEEE standards and MSAs
  • An integrated 56-Gbaud laser driver with direct-drive capability
  • Error-free interoperability on the host interface with merchant ASICs and ASSPs with 28-GBaud PAM4 and NRZ electrical interfaces while bridging to 56-GBaud optics with breakout support
  • A DSP and TIA receive chain design that enables power-performance tradeoffs
  • Fifth-generation InphiNity DSP Engine with a mixed-mode DSP architecture
  • Self-test and loopback modes that enable diagnostic monitoring of channel and system parameters
  • Modular API software suite that covers link margin and stress testing along with data and error analytics
  • Integrated forward error correction (FEC) for 100G and 400G optics.

Designers can use these features to create DR1/FR1 optical modules for legacy 3.2/6.4-Tbps switches while offering an upgrade path for 12.8-Tbps systems, Inphi says. Module designers also can leverage the Porrima Gen2 platform to support either PAM4 or NRZ signaling and both retiming and gearbox functionality to create modules in three form factor classes:

  1. Porrima 400G – 8x56-Gbps PAM4 <-> 4x100-Gbps PAM4 for QSFP-DD/oSFP
  2. Porrima 100G – 4x25-Gbps NRZ <-> 1x100-Gbps PAM4 for QSFP
  3. Porrima 100G – 2x50-Gbps PAM4 <-> 1x100-Gbps PAM4 for QSFP/uQSFP/SFP-DD.

Inphi has paired the IN5661TA/5664TA linear transimpedance amplifier with the Porrima Gen2 DSP. The 56-GBaud low-power single/quad linear TIA targets PAM4 applications.

At least one customer has plans for Porrima Gen2. “InnoLight currently offers 100G single-lambda DR, FR, and LR and multiple 4x100G optical solutions to accelerate the 100G per lambda migration,” said Osa Mok, chief marketing officer at InnoLight Technology, via an Inphi press release. “Inphi’s Porrima Gen2 is the key driver for our successful delivery of these solutions. We are very appreciative of Inphi’s time to market and leading-edge technology to enable the 100G per lambda module platform.”

“The development of 400G modules is especially challenging and market demand is such that both power consumption and cost have gating thresholds that must be met for volume deployment,” added Dale Murray, principal analyst for LightCounting Market Research, via the same release. “By integrating the laser driver into their Gen2 Porrima DSP chip, Inphi has not only simplified module development but now offers meaningful module power reduction as well.”

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