14 March 2018
Inphi announces production availability of first 16nm 28GBaud PAM4 DSP with integrated EML and VCSEL drivers
© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.
Inphi Corp of Santa Clara, CA, USA (a provider of high-speed mixed-signal ICs for communications, computing and data-center markets) has announced production availability of the Polaris 16nm CMOS PAM4 platform, which is claimed to be the first 16nm 28GBaud PAM4 (4-level pulse amplitude modulation) digital signal processor (DSP) that includes integrated driver options for electro-absorption modulated lasers (EMLs) and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) to cover a broad range of optical interconnects from 50G to 400G. The platform also supports a family of discrete EML and VCSEL drivers and linear transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs). The firm is showcasing the platform at multiple customer and partner booths at the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition (OFC 2018) in San Diego (13-15 March).
“Our Polaris PAM4 platform is seeing a lot of customer design-win momentum supporting an inflection point of hyperscale cloud networks that need 200G and 400G capability today,” says Siddharth Sheth, senior VP, Networking Interconnect, at Inphi. “We are very excited to have delivered the industry’s first production-ready PAM4 DSP platform within 12 months of announcing the product and are prepared to ramp the platform along with the applications ranging from HPC [high-performance computing], AI to 12.8T switch connectivity,” he adds.
“The industry is on the cusp of an all-new ecosystem with PAM4 modulation and 56Gb/s interfaces,” comments Dale Murray, principal analyst for LightCounting Market Research. “We need energy-efficient DSP PHY ICs, drivers and TIAs such as the Inphi Polaris family to enable 50GbE, 200GbE, 400GbE and even next-gen 100GbE optics.”
Polaris 16nm PAM4 DSP PHY product family
Inphi’s 16nm PAM4 DSP PHY ICs provide a full bi-directional interface with host ASICs that have 28GBaud PAM4 and/or NRZ electrical interfaces while bridging to 28GBaud PAM4 optics. The product family can support both retiming and gearbox functionality with options supporting standard driver or integrated driver functionality. Target products specifically designed for the following optics modules include:
- Polaris-400G – 8x56Gbps PAM4 <-> 16x28Gbps NRZ gearbox for CFP8;
- Polaris-400G (NG) – 8x56Gbps <-> 8x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for OSFP/QSFP-DD;
- Polaris-200G – 4x56Gbps <-> 4x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for QSFP56;
- Polaris-100G – 2x56Gbps <-> 2x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for QSFP28;
- Polaris-50G – 1x56Gbps <-> 1x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for SFP56/SFP-DD.
Polaris linear drivers
The IN2831SZ (single-channel) and IN2834SZ (quad-channel) are 28GBaud low-power EML linear drivers for PAM4 optical modules. The IN2834SZ features what is claimed to be excellent linearity, high bandwidth, adjustable gain to optimize the PAM4 system performances and two high-frequency bias T integrated inside the package: one for driver to reduce the power consumption; the other for EML bias voltage. The IN2830SZ single-channel die version is also available.
The IN2814DV is a 28GBaud low-power quad VCSEL linear driver for PAM4 optical modules or active optical cables (AOCs). The IN2814DV package is optimized for routing with a channel pitch aligned to the VCSEL optics driving over multi-mode fiber (MMF).
Polaris linear TIAs
The IN2864LP is a 28GBaud low-power quad linear TIA for PAM4 optical modules optimized for shorter (<2km) client intefaces. The compatible IN2864TA TIA is optimized for longer-reach (10km) interfaces. Both TIAs feature a wide dynamic range to meet the different performance and link requirements for optical applications and excellent signal integrity necessary for PAM4 modulation schemes.
The IN2865TA is a 28GBaud low-power quad VCSEL linear TIA for PAM4 optical modules or AOCs. The IN2865TA is optimized for direct routing with a channel pitch aligned to the MMF optics.
Inphi is now shipping its 16nm Polaris PAM4 Platform solutions in volume to qualified customers.