Marvell Delivers Industry’s First Dual 400GbE PHY

Created March 15, 2020
Technologies and Products

Marvell has introduced what it claims is the industry’s first dual 400GbE PHY transceiver with 100GbE serial electrical I/O capabilities, designed to drive next-generation, secured high-density optical infrastructure. The company says data growth continues to put unprecedented demand on data centres and cloud providers, spurring the need for innovative technologies that can provide higher throughputs with enhanced energy efficiency.

Marvell’s new PHY device with 100G serial I/Os enables the doubling of faceplate bandwidth on datacentre networks while reducing the total power consumption and cost per bit. The new device offers 256-bit MACsec encryption to ensure heightened point-to-point security, Class C compliant precision time protocol (PTP) timestamping for enhanced synchronisation and Marvell’s industry-leading 112G PAM4 SerDes technology for high-density 400GbE and 100GbE deployments.

Marvell’s newest dual 400GbE MACsec PHY, the 88X9121P, enables interfacing between the current generation of switch ASICs with the next generation of optics and vice versa by supporting translation between 50G PAM4 and 100G PAM4 based implementations of 400GbE, 200GbE and 100GbE. The 88X9121P is both footprint- and software-compatible with the recently announced 88X7121P, providing a seamless upgrade path that facilitates migration to modules with 100GbE serial I/Os.

“We see the introduction of our feature-rich 100G serial I/O based, dual 400GbE PHYs playing a major role in the next evolutionary phase of the global data centre and cloud sectors,” said Faraj Aalaei, executive vice president of the Networking Business Group at Marvell (pictured). “The transition to 100G serial signaling is critical for high-density optical interconnects required for next-generation switching solutions. Our newest PHY transceivers will help drive the industry transition to 100G serial I/O-based optics as data centres and cloud providers look to bring greater computing bandwidth and efficiency to their customers.”

“We see 100Gbps serial I/O as a foundational speed and expect it will enable 400GbE port shipments to reach 6.5 million by 2023,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst for networking at The Linley Group. “Marvell’s new PHY is a milestone in kickstarting the ramp of 100Gbps-serial-electrical optics and will help accelerate the deployment of 400GbE in cloud data centres.”

For more information, visit




This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.