MultiPhy details a 100G single-lambda PAM-4 chip

Created September 28, 2017
Technologies and Products

A chip for 100-gigabit single-wavelength client-side optical modules has been unveiled by MultiPhy at ECOC 2017. Dubbed the MPF3101, the 100-gigabit physical layer chip is aimed at the data centre to connect equipment and for 5G cloud radio access networks.

“The chip has already been sent out to customers and we are heading towards market introductions,” said Avi Shabtai, CEO of MultiPhy.

The 100-gigabit IP will be a key building block for a future MultiPhy chip for 400-gigabit optical modules needed for next-generation data centre switches that have 6.4 and 12.8 terabits of capacity.

The 16nm CMOS MPF3101 supports PAM-4 at symbol rates up to 58 gigabaud. The chip’s electrical input is 4×25-gigabit lanes that are multiplexed and encoded into a 50-plus gigabaud PAM-4 signal that is fed to a modulator driver, part of a 100-gigabit single-channel transmitter optical sub-assembly (TOSA). A 100-gigabit receiver optical sub-assembly (ROSA) feeds the received PAM-4 encoded signal to the chip’s DSP before converting the 100-gigabit signal to 4×25-gigabit electrical signals.

The advent of a single-wavelength 100-gigabit module promises several advantages. One is lower cost. Estimates that MultiPhy is hearing is that a single-wavelength 100-gigabit module will be half the cost of existing 4×25-gigabit optical modules. Such modules will also enable higher-capacity switches as well as 100-gigabit breakout channels when connected to a 400-gigabit four-wavelength module. MultiPhy also expects a reduced power consumption.

MultiPhy says first 100-gigabit single-wavelength QSFP28s will appear sometime in 2018.

The company is not saying when it will have a 400-gigabit PAM-4 chip but says by having working MPF3101 silicon, making a 400-gigabit chip is an integration issue.

New high-capacity switches using 400-gigabit modules will appear next year. The sooner four-channel 400-gigabit PAM-4 silicon and optical modules appear, the less opportunity there will be for eight-wavelength 400-gigabit designs defined by the IEEE and the new CWDM8 MSA to gain a market foothold. “That is the race we are in,” said Shabtai.

By Roy Rubenstein

See also:

Press release: MultiPhy Ignites the Data Center Connectivity Market with the World’s First 100G Single-Wavelength PAM4 DSP IC

MultiPhy Ignites the Data Center Connectivity Market with the World’s First 100G Single-Wavelength PAM4 DSP IC


Gazettabyte: MultiPhy unveiled 100-gigabit single wavelength PAM-4 chip


This article was written
by Roy Rubenstein

is the editor of and has been researching and writing about the telecom and semiconductor industries for over 20 years.