Newcomer Point2 Technology is reviving electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) with the 5G RangeXtender, an SFP28 module that leverages EDC to support 5G fronthaul and backhaul links of up to 30 km. The technology currently supports 25-Gbps transmission with a roadmap toward 100 Gbps and is sampling now, according to the company.
The 5G RangeXtender leverages Point2’s PT-E1012322 EDC chip, which combines two lanes of bidirectional clock-and-data recovery (CDR) and EDC with a CDR/retimer. The device compensates for the distortion caused by dispersion and thus reduces bit-error rate. The PT-E1012322 displays latency of less than 16 ns and consumes about 9 mW/Gbps. It also supports such tests as pattern generation and checking and local and remote loopback via a real-time eye scanner.
According to Point2 CEO Sean Park and Reza Norouzian, who is handling marketing (among other roles) for the company after a career that includes a stop at ClariPhy Communications (see "ClariPhy to demo all-digital EDC transceiver based on MLSD technology at OFC/NFOEC"), the PT-E1012322 is a receive-side technology that will not affect interoperability with optics from other vendors. Point2 plans to offer modules based on the EDC chip as well as the PT-E1012322 to other vendors as a standalone product. Along this latter path, the PT-E1012322 is available in a reference design alongside a linear receiver optical subassembly. Park and Norousian say “three or four” companies are in prototype development of modules based on the 3.4x3.4-mm device. Meanwhile, the technology has been tested by at least one major carrier, with further tests and trials in the works. The device should reach production in the fourth quarter of this year.
Point2 was founded in 2016 in San Jose. The company also has a team in Seoul, Korea, that performs product development. Point 2 specializes in mixed-signal IC development, including the use of miniature DSP and CPU technology. (The PT-E1012322 contains a CPU that enables algorithm upgrades and customization.) In addition to the 5G RangeXtender, Point2 also has announced the availability of a 400GBASE-SR4 active electrical cable for data center use based on its technology.
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