MaxLinear, Inc. (NYSE:MXL) says it has begun to sample its Telluride (MxL935XX) family of 400-Gbps PAM4 (PAM4) digital signal processing (DSP) systems-on-chips (SoCs). The devices are the first of their kind to integrate electro-absorption modulated laser (EA-EML) drivers for 400G optical interconnects, the company asserts. The SoCs target applications up to 2 km and should reach mass production in the latter half of 2018, the company says.
The Telluride MxL935XX units are 16-nm CMOS devices that consume 6.7 W, including the power dissipation of the integrated EA-EML driver. This power figure makes the MxL935XX applicable to QSFP-DD, OSFP, and COBO optical transceiver applications, MaxLinear points out. The devices also will support 100-Gbps single-wavelength applications.
The family currently consists of the MxL93542 and MxL93543. Both support multiple modes of operation, to enable not only 400-Gbps designs but also 100 and 200 Gbps in optical module form factors such as QSFP28 and SFP-DD. In instances where the devices must interface with a 25G NRZ switch ASIC, the corresponding forward error correction (FEC) capability required for PAM4 optics is integrated into the devices.
The MXL93542's integrated laser driver delivers greater than 1.8 V of single-ended driver output swing, which MaxLinear says easily meets the optical modulation amplitude (OMA) specification requirements of EA-EMLs. The chip package also includes all the high frequency components needed for driver and modulator biasing, the company adds.
The MxL93543 delivers 800 mV of peak-to-peak differential driver output swing. The company says designers can pair the SoC with an external laser driver implemented in silicon photonics enabled applications.
"With the recent announcement of the availability of next-generation switch ASICs that support 50-Gbps PAM4 I/Os, we believe the growth trajectory for PAM4 DSP-based 400-Gbps optical fiber interconnect solutions is at an inflection point. The cost pressure and thermal constraints of 400-Gbps networks necessitate the use of new optical interconnects based on single-lane 100-Gbps optical wavelength technology," stated Dr. Kishore Seendripu, CEO of MaxLinear.
"Our Telluride MxL935XX 16nm CMOS SoC family, with integrated EA-EML laser drivers, reduced external components, and superior link-margin performance, is perfectly positioned to enable this leapfrogging industry transition. We believe that, currently, the total addressable market for 100Gbps and 400Gbps optical interconnect modules greatly exceeds 10 million units annually, not including the anticipated future rapid growth driven by the exploding internet traffic," Dr. Seendripu concluded.
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