Inphi Corp. (NYSE: IPHI) used OFC 2017 in Los Angeles last week as a springboard for its Polaris 16-nm CMOS PAM4 platform. The platform line includes the company's PAM4 digital signal processing (DSP) IC and companion IN2834linear driver and IN2864 linear transimpedance amplifier (TIA).
The PAM4 DSP IC implementations leverage the company's InphiNity DSP Engine, which features a mixed-mode DSP architecture that Inphi says suits it for high-performance, low-power applications that require adaptability and configurability over either multimode or single-mode fiber at reaches up to 10 km. The DSP PHY ICs are designed to provide a full bi-directional interface with host ASICs that have 28-Gbaud PAM4 and NRZ electrical interfaces while bridging to 28-Gbaud PAM4 optics. The product family thus can support PAM4 or NRZ signaling, and both retiming and gearbox functionality. Packaging is designed for the following optical modules:
- Polaris-400G: 8x56-Gbps PAM4 <-> 16x28-Gbps NRZ gearbox for CFP8
- Polaris-400G (NG): 8x56-Gbps <-> 8x56-Gbps PAM4 retiming for OSFP and QSFP-DD
- Polaris-200G: 4x56-Gbps <-> 4x56-Gbps PAM4 retiming for QSFP56
- Polaris-100G: 2x56-Gbps <-> 2x56-Gbps PAM4 retiming for QSFP28
- Polaris-50G: 1x56Gbps <-> 1x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for SFP56.
"With 100GbE deployments ramping fast last year and with the expected availability of switch silicon with 50G PAM4 I/O this year, the next step is the deployment of PAM4 in higher-speed 200/400GbE solutions. This announcement supports the necessary products for the evolution of Ethernet connectivity inside the cloud data center," commented Dale Murray, principal analyst at LightCounting Market Research, via an Inphi press release.
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