New Semtech chip enables 50Gbps PAM4 fronthaul for 5G

Created February 23, 2021
Technologies and Products

Semtech Corporation is now sampling its new Tri-Edge™ CDR, the GN2255, which enables emerging 50Gbps PAM4 5G front haul deployments. Based on the company’s Tri-Edge CDR platform for data centre applications, Semtech says the new solution delivers the cost effectiveness, small footprint, low power, ultra-low latency, and performance demanded by 5G front haul applications.

Semtech says the rollout of 5G technology continues to create new opportunities across industries, but current infrastructure cannot support all use cases. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of seamless wireless connectivity with device usage going up across the board worldwide: 70% of global Internet users surveyed reported using their smartphones or mobile phones more as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to a study from March 2020. This increased demand requires higher bandwidth transmission capacity for 5G front haul deployments at extremely low latency, low power and with high performance.

Semtech’s new IC enables 50Gbps PAM4 links that will double the bandwidth of currently deployed 25Gbps NRZ front haul links. The IC combines Semtech’s proprietary analogue Tri-Edge technology with enhanced laser driver compensation to enable IEEE-compliant optical modules over industrial temperature ranges. Semtech’s introduction of the Tri-Edge 5G wireless IC will help support new 5G applications, including edge computing, enhanced mobile broadband and device streaming, and fixed wireless access (i.e., home Internet).

Semtech says the GN2255 Tri-Edge IC is the industry’s first analogue IC solution enabling ultra-low latency, less than 1.5W module power and industry leading performance for up to 10km reach for 50Gbps PAM4 SFP56 optical modules. Semtech’s Tri-Edge technology and proprietary DML compensation will enable use of high volume, low cost 25Gbps bandwidth optics to operate at 50Gbps PAM4.

“Semtech is at the forefront of innovation with this new Tri-Edge IC and we look forward to collaborating with system vendors and our optical module partners to enable next-generation 5G wireless front haul deployments,” said Raza Khan, senior market manager for Semtech’s Signal Integrity Products Group.

The Tri-Edge wireless IC is now available for sampling and Semtech will also offer a complete Reference Design Kit (RDK) including complete module-level firmware to enable rapid adoption of Semtech’s solution.

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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.