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8 March 2019

II-VI and Samtec demo 56Gbps PAM4 per channel FireFly on-board optical engines

At the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition (OFC 2019) in San Diego (5-7 March) engineered materials and optoelectronic component maker II-VI Inc of Saxonburg, PA, USA and Samtec, a privately held manufacturer of electronic interconnect solutions, have unveiled a new 56Gbps PAM4 per channel demonstration of next-generation Samtec FireFly on-board optical engine technology. II-VI’s recently announced high-speed VCSELs are is embedded within the FireFly system architecture.

The demonstration platform showcases low-latency, high-performance on-board optical engines transmitting at 56Gbps PAM4 per channel. The FireFly Micro Flyover System copper and optical options offer a direct connection into the ASIC/FPGA package bypassing the PCB for improved density and performance. The latest FireFly solutions are compatible with new-generation FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) that support 56G PAM4 transceivers.

“The high performance and compact size of the protocol-agnostic FireFly redefines optical connectivity in a broad range of applications such as video, aerospace, embedded computing, instrumentation, HPC [high-performance computing] and data center,” says Arlon Martin, senior director, marketing, Samtec Optical Group.

“We worked closely with Samtec to ensure that our VCSELs exceeded the requirements for their high-performance 200G FireFly mid-board optical engines,” says Karlheinz Gulden, general manager, II-VI Laser Enterprise.

The FireFly mid-board optical engines are said to offer system designers flexibility and performance advantages compared with pluggable optical transceivers. FireFly features multiple optical front-panel interconnect options. The compact footprint is 4x smaller than the standard quad small-form-factor pluggable (QSFP) module size and uses the same micro-connector for both optical and copper cable assemblies. FireFly has optics that enable 56Gbps PAM4 that consumes only a few pico-joules of energy per bit.

II-VI’s 4-channel VCSEL arrays can be modulated at 56Gbps PAM4 to achieve a combined 200Gbps over short-reach multi-mode links. AOCs and transceivers based on VCSELs are said to offer the most cost-effective solution for data-center links that span from 10m to 300m.

See related items:

II-VI launches 56Gb/s PAM4 VCSEL arrays for 400GbE transmission


Visit:  www.ofcconference.org

Visit:  www.ii-vi-photonics.com

Visit:  www.samtec.com/firefly

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