8 March 2010


Mindspeed collaborates with Emcore on subsystems using new optical PMD chipset for 3G/4G wireless base-stations

Mindspeed Technologies Inc of Newport Beach, CA, USA, which designs and develops semiconductors for communications applications in wireline and wireless network infrastructure, has announced a high-performance, low-power physical media device (PMD) chipset that includes all necessary components required for common public radio interface (CPRI)-based optical transceivers that economically connect 3G/4G wireless base-station servers to one or more remote radio heads (RRHs) over optical fiber.

Mindspeed has also collaborated with the Fiber Optics Division of Emcore of Albuquerque, NM, USA to develop a family of transmit and receive optical subassembly solutions based on its PMD devices. The family of products will allow base-station servers to transmit over longer distances and at significantly higher data rates than can be supported with copper links.

“The wireless infrastructure is a rapidly growing market and we are excited to work with Mindspeed to develop a family of optical components for next-generation base station platforms,” says Chris Wiggins, Emcore’s director of sales & marketing. “By leveraging our broad optoelectronic device portfolio, this collaboration effort provides key components with optimized performance to our customers. This will significantly reduce the time to market of their integrated products,” he reckons.

“The industry’s migration to a 3G/4G mobile infrastructure is creating the need for significantly improved base-station performance – not just for baseband processing, but also for the links between the main base-station server and one or more distributed RRH units,” says Gary Shah, executive director of product marketing with Mindspeed’s high-performance analog business unit. As a supplier of high-speed PMD solutions for fiber-access networks, Mindspeed is now applying that expertise to a new generation of power-efficient CPRI-enabled optical PMD solutions for 3G/4G base-stations, he adds. The PMDs join Mindspeed’s recently announced Transcede multi-core baseband processing system-on-chips (SoCs) to address key challenges in next-generation mobile infrastructure.

Mindspeed’s CPRI optical PMD chipsets fully support the latest CPRI V4.1 2009-02-18 specification and are optimized for 4.915Gb/s and 6.144Gb/s operation with lower power consumption compared with traditional 10Gb/s PMD chipsets. They support data rates of 614.4–6144Mb/s over 20km single-mode fiber (SMF) and 500m multi-mode fiber (MMF). The receiver solution includes the M02020 transimpedance amplifier (TIA) combined with the M02049 limiting amplifier optimized for 4.915Gb/s, or the M02129 TIA combined with the M02142 limiting amplifier for 6.144Gb/s. The limiting amplifiers each feature selectable bandwidth for optimal receiver sensitivity across CPRI rates. On the transmit side, solutions include the M02061 laser driver for long-wave laser diodes and the M02069 driver for short-wave vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs).

Mindspeed’s CPRI optical PMD chipsets are available now, along with a small-form-factor reference design for data rates up to 6.144Gb/s. The firm says that, by offering seamless chipset solutions, its CPRI optical PMD family enables optical transceiver vendors to get to market quickly with cost-competitive solutions that deliver industry-leading performance.

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