Inphi expands 16-nm Polaris PAM4 DSP line

Inphi Corp. (NYSE: IPHI) has announced an expansion of its16-nm Polaris PAM4 digital signal processing (DSP) line for next-generation 50G to 400G cloud deployments. The Polaris PAM4 DSP family now includes devices with an integrated driver for low power, cost-efficient approaches to short-reach data center optical connectivity.

Inphi Corp. (NYSE: IPHI) has announced an expansion of its16-nm Polaris PAM4 digital signal processing (DSP) line for next-generation 50G to 400G cloud deployments. The Polaris PAM4 DSP family now includes devices with an integrated driver for low power, cost-efficient approaches to short-reach data center optical connectivity.

Inphi introduced the Polaris 16-nm CMOS PAM4 platform line, including the company's PAM4 DSP IC, in March (see "Inphi unveils PAM4 devices on Polaris 16-nm platform") and used ECOC 2017 in Sweden last week to announce expansions to the line. At last week's ECOC 2017, Inphi revealed it has integrated driver functionality to provide technology that is optimized for low-cost 200G and 400G data center deployments.

Features of the Polaris 16-nm PAM4 DSP PHY with integrated driver include:

· InphiNity DSP engine with a mixed-mode DSP architecture for low power applications that require adaptability and configurability.

· Numerous self-test and loopback modes that facilitate diagnostic monitoring of channel and system parameters.

· Receiver interfaces with eye-scan, samplers, and monitors for link margin and stress testing, as well as GUI and API routines for data and error analytics.

· Low power 16-nm CMOS.

The Polaris 16-nm PAM4 product family now will support both integrated and non-integrated driver capabilities spanning short-reach optical applications and longer distances, the latter enabled via use of an external driver. Inphi says its 16-nm PAM4 DSP PHY ICs offer a complete bi-directional interface with host ASICs possessing 28-GBaud PAM4 and NRZ electrical interfaces, while bridging to 28-GBaud PAM4 optics. The product line can support PAM4 or NRZ signaling, and both retiming and gearbox functionality, Inphi adds.

Packaging is designed specifically 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-100G: 2x56-Gbps <-> 2x56-Gbps PAM4 retiming for QSFP28

· Polaris-50G: 1x56Gbps <-> 1x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for SFP56.

"Cloud operators are looking for every possible edge to reduce the cost of short reach optical connectivity. Inphi and its Polaris platform play a critical role in cutting the cost of 100G and making 400G an economically viable technology," said Andrew Schmitt, Cignal AI founder and lead analyst, via an Inphi press release.

Inphi says it has begun sampling the 16-nm PAM4 DSP PHY ICs to select customers.

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