Inphi first with 7nm 50G PAM4 solution for DCI, AI

Created December 12, 2020
Technologies and Products

Inphi Corporation has launched its Polaris™ Gen2 PAM4 platform, which it claims is the industry’s first 50G, 28Gbaud PAM4 DSP solution based on low-power 7nm CMOS technology. Polaris Gen2 builds on the company’s Polaris Gen1 PAM4 platform, and provides higher levels of integration and lower power for high-performance hyperscale data centre, cloud computing and emerging AI applications.

The Polaris platform is the industry’s leading 28GBaud PAM4 DSP solution offering integrated driver options for EML and Silicon Photonics to address a broad range of optical interconnects scaling from 50G to 400G. The new 7nm Polaris Gen2 platform provides optical network developers with a best-in-class low-power 50Gbps PAM4 solution featuring an integrated high-performance linear driver for optics that eliminates the need for standalone components, thereby reducing system cost and complexity.

The foundation of Inphi’s Polaris platform is a highly configurable DSP engine that is field proven and qualified in multiple hyperscale data centre networks. The DSP is designed to achieve performance levels for multi-mode and single-mode optical interconnects covering distances from <100 meters up to 40km, while keeping an extremely low power profile for optical module applications. By combining linear driver and TIA products in a high-performance platform, Inphi has developed a highly integrated PAM4 solution optimized for optical module deployments in data centres.

“As a pioneer of PAM4 technology for high-speed interconnects, Inphi is again breaking new ground and continuing to lead the industry with a highly integrated next generation DSP platform based on 7nm CMOS process technology,” said Eric Hayes, Sr. VP, Networking Interconnect at Inphi. “Leveraging our experience achieved over the past years hardening our successful 16nm Polaris PAM4 DSP, TIA and driver solutions in high volume deployment, we’ve introduced the new Polaris Gen2 family to fulfil the strong market demand for 50G data centre low power interconnects.”

“High power consumption of optical interconnects is one the main challenges for next-generation hyperscale data centres,” said Vladimir Kozlov, Founder and CEO of LIGHTCOUNTING Market Research. “Inphi’s new Polaris Gen2 platform enables lower power 50G PAM4 solution for 200G and 2x200G optical transceivers and active optical cables. As volumes are ramping in this large and growing market, highly integrated PAM4 solutions like Polaris Gen2 offer a path for continuous reductions in complexity and cost of products based on this technology.”

The Polaris Gen2 PAM4 platform supports 400G optical transceiver modules in both QSFP-DD and OSFP form factors and 200G modules in the QSFP56 package, in line with the optical PMD’s specified in the IEEE standards.

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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.