Broadcom unveils 16-nm Nx56-Gbps PAM4 PHYs

March 9, 2017
Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ:AVGO) announced a line of 16-nm Nx56-Gbps PAM4 PHYs aimed at 50 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 100GbE, 200GbE, and 400GbE applications. The company asserts the new PHY chips deliver best-in-class performance, integrated forward error correction (FEC) and equalization, and what the company termed "unprecedented power efficiency."

Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ:AVGO) announced a line of 16-nm Nx56-Gbps PAM4 PHYs aimed at 50 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 100GbE, 200GbE, and 400GbE applications. The company asserts the new PHY chips deliver best-in-class performance, integrated forward error correction (FEC) and equalization, and what the company termed "unprecedented power efficiency."

The company says the devices have the horsepower to compensate for more than 30 dB of insertion loss at 56 Gbps, thanks to its DSP-based equalization, support of IEEE 802.3bs compliant FEC, and Broadcom's own Super-FEC (S-FEC) with 9.4-dB coding gain and extended burst error correction capability. The devices' capabilities enable low latency and extended reach on copper and optical cabling systems, including multimode fiber (MMF) and single-mode fiber (SMF), the company added.

This multimedium performance range comes with the assistance of the chips' protocol agnostic capabilities, including support for IEEE 802.3bs/cd 50/100/200/400GbE for backplane and copper cabling, CDAUI-8 chip-to-module and chip-to-chip, and OIF 56G-LR-PAM-4 for PCB and cabled backplane applications. System side interface options and compatibility to support both legacy 28-Gbps NRZ I/Os and 56-Gbps PAM-4 I/Os on standard product switch chips and ASICs also widen the devices' application range.

"PAM-4 is fast becoming a standard for 50-400G networking and data center connections," said Simon Stanley, founder and principal consultant at Earlswood Marketing Ltd. and analyst at large with Heavy Reading, via a Broadcom press release. "With its established position in the Ethernet switching and optical networking, the latest 16-nm PAM4 PHY portfolio from Broadcom provides a comprehensive solution that will accelerate the deployment of 50-400G networks."

The portfolio includes:

  • BCM81330 -- 8x56G PAM4 PHY for network backplanes
  • BCM81328 -- 8x56G PAM4 PHY for line cards
  • BCM81188 -- 8x56G PAM4 PHY for pluggable transceiver modules (e.g., CFP8)
  • BCM81141 -- 4x56G PAM4 PHY for pluggable transceiver modules (e.g., QSFP56)
  • BCM81128 -- 2x56G PAM4 PHY for pluggable transceiver modules (e.g., QSFP28)
  • BCM81118 -- 1x56G PAM4 PHY for pluggable transceiver modules (e.g., SFP56).

Broadcom has begun shipping the 16-nm PAM4 PHY devices and is currently accepting orders for these products. The company will showcase these and other PHY products in Booth 2873 at OFC in Los Angeles from March 21 to 23.

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