1 February 2010


Inphi launches first OIF-compliant 100G coherent TIA and highest-sensitivity 40G linear TIA

In conjunction with the Fibre Optics Expo (FOE 2010) in Tokyo, Japan (20–22 January), high-speed analog semiconductor firm Inphi Corp of West Lake Village, CA, USA announced the availability of engineering samples of two components unveiled to meet demand for extending 40G applications and emerging 100G applications.

“The pervasive use of the internet, and subsequent evolution of cloud computing, has led carriers and data centers to scale their core networks to the next level, rapidly ramping from 10G to 40G networks and embarking on 100G solutions,” says president & CEO Young K. Sohn. The new 2850TA and 2251TA components provide crucial technologies needed to enable the build-out of 40G and 100G networks, paving the way for the continued evolution of cloud computing and improvements in bandwidth, capacity and power, he adds.

The 2850TA dual-differential linear transimpedance/variable-gain amplifier (TIA/VGA) is claimed to be the first 100G coherent TIA to be shipped that is compliant with Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) standards, addressing the emerging demands for next-generation 100G. Coherent detection achieves 100G serial bit rate transmission over existing metro and backbone networks and has been adopted by the OIF. Receiver makers can now build 100G coherent receivers for long-haul and metro regional networks, says Inphi.

The demand for 100G solutions — representing a 10x increase in data rates — puts severe demands on the underlying technologies in the transceivers and line cards of next-generation networks, says Inphi. The firm claims that the 2850TA offers unparalleled signal integrity, ensuring error-free data transport.

“We have worked closely with Inphi and have designed in their 100G coherent amplifier in our best-in-class optical receivers for 100G,” comments Andreas Umbach, CEO & co-founder of u2t Photonics AG of Berlin, Germany, which manufactures indium phosphide-based ultra-high-speed photodetectors and receivers. “Inphi’s commitment to develop the 2850TA helped us to develop a coherent receiver compliant to the rigorous OIF-standards,” he adds.

Inphi claims that the 2850TA has the following benefits:

  • the highest bandwidth (greater than 25GHz) available, offering more margin in 100G system design;
  • superior linearity for coherent receivers, at less than 5% THD (total harmonic distortion), exceeding OIF requirements; and
  • low power dissipation (250mW/channel) to conserve energy.

Inphi is also extending its line of 40G solutions with the 2251TA, which it claims is the highest-sensitivity linear TIA/VGA for 40G DQPSK (differential quadrature phase-shift keying) applications.

“The 40G optical market grew rapidly in 2009, with port shipment roughly doubling when compared to 2008,” according to Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst (optical) at Infonetics Research. “Based on their strong technology and market position, Inphi should benefit from both 40G and 100G as each market evolves,” says Schmitt.

“Inphi’s ability to address the difficult technical challenges faced by carriers has secured Inphi’s position as the leading supplier of 40G TIAs and drivers,” claims Dr Loi Nguyen, Inphi’s VP, networking & communications products. “Drawing on our unique analog design skills, Inphi’s 2251TA tackles a major limitation on transmission distance — signal distortion.”

The 2251TA allows extended reach by addressing polarization mode dispersion (PMD), a common problem faced by carriers operating at 40Gb/s that causes signal distortion and limits the reach of 40G networks. The 2251TA addresses these challenges by delivering what is claimed to be:

  • the highest sensitivity over a wide range of optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR), which improves link margins;
  • greater linearity (< 5% total harmonic distortion), which enables the use of electrical dispersion compensation (EDC) technology to combat distortion due to PMD;
  • the lowest power dissipation available.

Combination with Inphi’s recently introduced 2811DZ differential driver in surface-mount technology provides a cost-effective, complete transmit and receive solution for next-generation 40G DQPSK systems, says Inphi.

Inphi also demonstrated next-generation drivers and receivers for 40G DQPSK small-form-factor transponders at FOE’s 40G/100G Device Zone. In addition, Nguyen gave a technical presentation on ‘High Speed Analog Solutions for Next Generation 100G Coherent Systems’.

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