MultiPhy unveils MPF3101 PAM4 DSP for single-wavelength 100-Gbps applications

MultiPhy Ltd. used ECOC 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden, this week to launch the MPF3101, a PAM4 DSP designed to support transmission of 100 Gbps over a single wavelength. The company showed the device at the booth of fellow communications semiconductor developer Semtech, which will supply complementary chips.

MultiPhy Ltd. used ECOC 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden, this week to launch the MPF3101, a PAM4 DSP designed to support transmission of 100 Gbps over a single wavelength. The company showed the device at the booth of fellow communications semiconductor developer Semtech, which will supply complementary chips.

MultiPhy has delivered samples of the MPF3101 and a companion development kit to potential customers, said CEO Avi Shabtai at the show. The 16-nm DSP leverages the company's FlexPhy technology and incorporates ADC and DAC functions as well as a 100-Gbps line rate forward error correction (FEC) encoder/decoder. It is compatible with 4x25G electrical interfaces. The company foresees the device finding use in QSFP28 optical modules for data center and 5G cloud radio access network (RAN) applications.

The announcement is part of an emerging groundswell of technological and collaborative support for single-lambda 100G. The momentum began to build early this month with MACOM's announcement of a single-lambda 100G component family (see "MACOM unveils PAM4-based single-lambda 100-Gbps component family"). It continued last week with the public debut of the 100G Lambda MSA and this week with MultiPhy's announcement as well as other technology demonstrations at ECOC 2017.

The interest in single-wavelength 100G derives from the belief that a single DSP and optics set should be less expensive and complex than the currently deployed four-wavelength approach that requires multiple lasers and associated electronics. Proponents of 4x25G optical approaches say that the ability of the DSP to meet the power envelopes of optical receiver form factors such as the QSFP28 remains to be proven. Shabtai said the MPF3101 will offer power consumption consistent with QSFP28 requirements; he declined to offer a specific power consumption figure.

Shabtai also allowed that multiple MPF3101 devices could be employed to create a 400 Gigabit Ethernet design.

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