AES Semigas


2 December 2020

Inphi samples next-gen 400G DR4 silicon photonics platform for hyperscale data-center networks

Inphi Corp of San Jose, CA, USA (a provider of high-speed mixed-signal ICs for communications, computing and data-center markets) is sampling its next-generation 400G DR4 silicon photonics platform, which includes a silicon photonics integrated circuit (PIC), a flip-chip transimpedance amplifier (TIA), and an analog controller; all designed to work seamlessly with Inphi’s Porrima PAM4 (4-level pulse amplitude modulation) digital signal processor (DSP) to enable faster time to ramp and lower cost per bit.

Inphi says that it brings high-volume silicon wafer-scale manufacturing to the optics industry by offering the option to purchase Inphi-designed high-performance 400G DR4 PICs in full 200mm wafer form. Customers receive silicon PIC wafers direct from an Inphi fab partner and will be able to continue with high-volume wafer-scale manufacturing and 3D heterogenous integration in their own factories. This business model brings silicon wafer-scale manufacturing to the optics industry to enable faster ramp and lower cost per bit, the firm says.

“Inphi has been the leading force to define and create a PAM4 ecosystem of optical modules for cloud and data-center networks,” claims Dr Loi Nguyen, founder & senior VP, Optical Interconnect at Inphi. “Today’s announcement will mark the beginning of a new era of the ‘fabless optics’ industry,” he believes. “Optical transceiver manufacturers can leverage silicon high-volume wafer scale in the manufacturing of transceivers without owning a fab.”

Key features of 400G DR silicon photonics platform solution include:

  • Inphi’s complete silicon photonics transceiver with four low-loss, transmit Mach-Zehnder modulators and four high-responsivity, receive photodiodes;
  • low-power, flip-chip TIA with excellent sensitivity, overload and error floor;
  • analog controller IC, which replaces multiple discrete components for laser bias, configuration and monitoring of silicon photonics, and TIA control;
  • Inphi’s Porrima Gen3 low-power PAM4 DSP with integrated 56Gbaud laser driver.

“Cloud Light is a premier supplier of advanced optical modules for data-center interconnect and has a strong heritage of design and manufacturing with silicon photonic devices,” says Matt Davis, VP of sales & marketing for Cloud Light Technology Ltd. “We are excited about Inphi’s silicon photonics solution and look forward to working with them to offer a compelling cost-per-bit solution for the industry.”

Inphi is participating in the virtual exhibition of ECOC 2020 (7-9 December) and is showcasing a demonstration of its new silicon photonics platform with Cloud Light’s optical module.

Tags: Inphi





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