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Inphi Announces Sampling of Alcor 100G PAM4 DSP Platform for Hyperscale Data Center Networks

Field-Proven, Low-Power 100G per Wavelength PAM4 for High Volume 100G Ethernet Optical Modules

Inphi Corporation, a leader in high-speed data movement interconnects, announced its new Alcor PAM4 DSP platform to accelerate the industry’s transition from 25G to 100G per wavelength. Based on Inphi’s market-leading Porrima PAM4 DSP platform, the new Alcor platform includes Inphi’s field proven PAM4 DSP technology, Linear TIA and Driver to provide even higher levels of integration and lower power for high-performance hyperscale data center, cloud computing and emerging AI applications.

Inphi continues to be the driving force to define and create a PAM4 ecosystem of optical module suppliers. Building on its already established industry leading PAM4 DSP portfolio, the new Alcor platform offers an enhanced feature set with integrated 56Gbaud laser drivers that enable less than 3.5W QSFP28, DSFP and SFP-DD optical modules. The new PAM4 DSP also offers integrated driver options to address a broad range of implementations for optical interconnects.

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The foundation of Inphi’s Alcor platform is a highly configurable DSP engine that is field proven and qualified in multiple hyperscale data center networks. The DSP is optimized to enable optical interconnect solutions for distances between 500 meters to 2km, while keeping an extremely low power profile. Alcor’s enhanced feature set also provides optical network operators with advanced telemetry features for networking diagnostics and anomaly detection. Moreover, the integrated high-performance linear drivers eliminate the need for standalone components, thereby reducing system cost, complexity and time to market.

“As the market leader in high-performance optical PAM4 DSP platforms for the data center market, Inphi has introduced a field-proven, backward-compatible solution that accelerates the industry’s migration to single-wavelength 100G,” said Andrew Schmitt, Directing Analyst at Cignal AI. “Inphi’s new Alcor platform is an ideal choice for 100G PAM4-based module designs with a single EML laser or Silicon Photonics modulator, providing a more scalable, reliable and cost-effective solution compared to traditional modules with up to four lasers.”

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“Inphi’s execution and delivery of the Alcor PAM4 DSP with integrated driver, furthers our market leadership position, addressing an ever growing SAM, as NRZ based solutions accelerate migration to PAM4,” said Eric Hayes, senior VP, Networking Interconnect at Inphi. “The integration, low power, and advanced telemetry of Alcor will accelerate creation and adoption of PAM4 based 100G DR optical modules, continuing to grow Inphi’s already vast ecosystem to even more partners.”

Alcor 100G PAM4 DSP Key Features:

  • Low power consumption enables less than 3.5W 100G, 2x50G or 4x25G optical modules
  • Integrated 56Gbaud laser drivers with direct-drive capability reduces module BOM cost
  • Integrated oscillator minimizes BOM cost
  • Advanced telemetry and diagnostics improve link performance and health monitoring
  • Seamless firmware transition with compatible API software suite accelerates time to market

IN566x Linear TIA:

The IN5661TA is a 56GBaud low-power single/quad linear TIA for PAM4 optical modules used in data centers. Key features include:

  • Wide dynamic range to meet varying performance and link requirements for optical applications
  • Adjustable gain to optimize PAM4 system performance
  • Excellent signal integrity necessary for PAM4 modulation schemes
  • Low power and small form factor design

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