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Spectra7 Announces New GaugeChanger Product for Next Generation 800Gbps Data Center Interconnects

Company Continues Innovating Industry-leading Active Copper Cable Solutions

Spectra7 Microsystems Inc., a leading provider of high-performance analog semiconductor products for broadband connectivity markets, announced the GC1122 IC to support the next generation data rates of 112Gbps using PAM4 signaling that is required for 800Gbps connections. At these rates, Active Copper Cables (“ACCs”) are anticipated to be deployed for up to 50% of data center network connections.

“Customers continue to demand copper as they are quickly moving to next-generation 25.6 Tbps and 800G switching solutions,” said Alan Weckel, Founder and Technology Analyst with 650 Group. “We see the 800Gbps and above Ethernet switch market growing over the next 5 years to over $12 billion driven by AI, Machine Learning and increased use of cloud applications. Active copper cables like those enabled by Spectra7 will play a critical role at 800Gbps as traditional passive cables will not be able to achieve the lengths needed. We anticipate at 800Gbps, up to half of all network interconnects to be active copper as the architecture in the networks continues to evolve at higher speeds.”

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As the industry moves to 800Gbps it will adopt 112Gbps PAM4 per lane signaling over 8 lanes. At these ultra-high signal rates, traditional passive copper cables will struggle to reach beyond 1.5 meters. This creates a huge problem for Hyperscalers that require longer lengths to serve both switch-to-switch and switch-to-server connections, but do not want to incur the power and cost penalty of optics.

ACCs enabled with Spectra7’s GC1122 solution will extend copper cable reach 2.5 times, up to 4 meters at a fraction of the cost of optics. Critically, at a time when Hyperscale operators are struggling with power consumption and carbon emissions, ACCs using the Spectra7 technology will consume only 200mW of power per channel, which is up to 12 times lower power than optical solutions.

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“We are seeing tremendous interest from every Hyperscaler to get sample 800Gbps cables that are enabled by our new GC1122 solution,” said Spectra7 CEO Raouf Halim. “Both we and our cable partners believe that 800Gbps will represent a significant acceleration in the growth and adoption of our ACC data center interconnect technology.”

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The GC1122 is the latest addition to the GaugeChanger™ product line and extends the data rate from 56Gbps PAM4 to 112Gbps PAM4 per lane. Since the GC1122 is analog and highly linear, dynamics such as line rate adjustment, multi-level signaling, intermittent line silence, transmit pre-emphasis or amplitude adjustment and receiver adaptivity are fully preserved. The GC1122 is packaged in an ultra-small 2.7mm x 4.2mm chip scale package making it easily embeddable in even the smallest of connectors.

GaugeChanger™ is an innovative and disruptive technology that allows copper to extend much longer lengths without the cost and power penalty of optics. It works equally well at 25 Gbps NRZ, 50 Gbps PAM-4 and 100 Gbps PAM4, enabling new connector standards of 100, 200, 400 and 800 Gbps.

The GC1122 is expected to be available for broad sampling in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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