Fujitsu, University of Toronto tout low-power referenceless CDR

The University of Toronto and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. say they have collaborated to develop what they assert is a referenceless CDR device that uses only 55% of the power current devices require. The partners say the technology should significantly improve optical module designs, particularly Ethernet transceivers for data center applications.

The University of Toronto and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. say they have collaborated to develop what they assert is a referenceless CDR device that uses only 55% of the power current devices require. The partners say the technology should significantly improve optical module designs, particularly Ethernet transceivers for data center applications.

As is the case with other referenceless CDRs, the device does not require a crystal oscillator to produce the standard timing. However, it uses a different technique to detect discrepancies in the timing cycle than previous designs. The current method requires the CDR to detect the signal four times with different timing for each bit of data; the power consumption for each timing generator represents a significant proportion of the power consumption of the module, the collaborators assert.

The University of Toronto and Fujitsu Laboratories say their new timing extraction approach operates on the same cycle as the data transmission speed. The method enables detection of discrepancies in a reading cycle from amplitude information in the input signal. The number of timing generators can be reduced to one-fourth that of previous architectures, which leads to power savings of as much as 70%, the partners say.

Fujitsu hopes to commercialize the technology sometime in 2019.

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