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GigOptix Inc of Palo Alto, CA, which designs modulator and laser drivers and transimpedance amplifier (TIA) ICs based on III-V materials as well as polymer electro-optic modulators, has shipped its 1 millionth production chip for multichannel optical interconnects.
The firm says that its HX product line, rooted in the GigOptix-Helix AG operation in Zurich, Switzerland, has been a pioneer in parallel high-speed technology since the 1990s and has provided devices supporting the evolution of standards and multi-source agreement (MSA) form factors such as SNAP12 and QSFP.
The 1 million physical media dependent (PMD) ICs shipped in the last few years address datacom applications and, with ever increasing volumes, industrial and consumer applications such as DVI/HDMI active optical cables (AOC).
“I have been personally involved in the development and spreading of a new technology since I founded Helix Semiconductors in 1990,” says GigOptix-Helix’s VP & general manager Joerg Wieland. “We expect the market to grow at an accelerated rate as optical interconnects are being used in many more applications, including desktop and even mobile devices,” he adds. “Since we are able to continuously reduce the size, cost and power consumption with the latest design techniques and process technologies, we keep creating new high-growth opportunities. We are overwhelmed by the interest and adoption of key datacom and consumer electronics global customers.”
GigOptix’s vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) driver and TIA arrays enable the implementation of optical interconnects for both datacom and consumer applications. 1x, 4x and 12x TX/RX solutions are available with transmission rates up to 150Gb/s aggregate and power dissipation of lower than 10mW for a 10Gb/s channel.
The PMD IC market is predicted to see considerable growth in the coming years as multichannel optical interconnects increase penetration in datacenters, as they provide speed, reach, reduced power consumption and ease of installation beyond what can be achieved with copper cables. According to market forecast data from LightCounting LLC, the datacom active optical cable segment alone will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.5% to $192m by 2013. This trend is also expected to extend further to consumer electronics interconnects, including optical versions of HDMI, DisplayPort, USB and Intel's LightPeak, which are likely to achieve notable volumes by 2012.
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