Brought on by the convergence of the Cloud and the Internet of Things, hyperscale data centers and wireless operators are pushing towards 200G and 400G. Key to this transition are optical modules, which is where Semtech’s Tri-Edge™ technology plays a core role. With increasing bandwidth demands, optical modules must evolve alongside data center equipment to deliver greater density, lower power consumption, and lower latency. We spoke more about this with Timothy Vang, Vice President, Marketing and Applications at Semtech.
In the coming years, data center traffic will continue to see immense growth. Cloud services, Internet of Things (IoT) and ever-increasing broadband demand are driving a massive push by hyperscale data centers and wireless operators towards 200G and 400G. Optical modules, key building blocks for connecting data center equipment, must also evolve to meet these bandwidth demands with greater density, lower power consumption and lower latency.
Semtech’s Tri-Edge™ GN2255 is the industry’s first analog IC solution enabling ultra-low latency, less than 1.5W module power, and performance for up to 10km reach for 50Gbps PAM4 SFP56 optical modules. Based on the proven Tri-Edge CDR platform qualified in data center applications, the new solution delivers the cost effectiveness, small footprint, low power, ultra-low latency, and performance demanded by 5G front haul applications. The new Tri-Edge GN2255 enables 50Gbps PAM4 links that will double the bandwidth of currently deployed 25Gbps NRZ front haul links. Semtech’s introduction of the Tri-Edge 5G wireless IC will help support new 5G applications, including edge computing, enhanced mobile broadband and device streaming, and fixed wireless access (i.e., home Internet). Learn more about the product announcement here.
Earlier this year, Evaluation Engineering (EE) spoke with Raza Khan, senior marketing manager in Semtech’s Signal Integrity Products Group to discuss industry trends and the new Tri-Edge 5G wireless product.
Semtech has recently returned from ECOC, one of the optical industry’s most anticipated and widely attended events of the year. The event hosts more than 6,500 scientists, researchers and industry experts from the field of high performance optical communication. Semtech’s booth was once again a hub for interested visitors eager to learn more about Semtech’s leading optical platform, and discuss current trends.
The dual-density version of the Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QFSP) Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) module standard looks set to be the rule for new line-cards, following a raft of demonstrations and alpha module tests in 2018. The hidden message of the QSFP-DD craze is not the physical characteristics of the module itself, but what it says about the turn to advanced signaling methods. Half a decade ago, QSFP28’s arrival heralded the coming dominance of 25Gbps electrical channels using NRZ signaling. Now, QSFP-DD, and its larger cousin, the octal SFP or OSFP, use PAM4 signaling. This most often uses 50Gbps channels, but QSFP-DD is flexible enough to use eight-channel interfaces in a variety of implementations: 25G x 8 for 200Gbit Ethernet, 50G x 8 for 400Gbit Ethernet, and perhaps some early 100G x 8 for a pre-standard 800Gbit Ethernet.
Slow but steady advances were made in 2018 in on-board optical links for chip-to-chip and chip-to-module interfaces. The integrated-optics revolution, anticipated three years ago when the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO), of which Semtech is an associate member, was launched, has been replaced by a realization that only slow migration from traditional pluggable modules will serve the data center, whether within a single line card or server blade, or between cards and racks. Even as recent as a year ago, COBO members began rethinking and changing their tune to stress coexistence of pluggable MSA modules and the embedded on-board modules chosen by COBO as a de facto standard.
The 44th installment of the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) Exhibition recently concluded in Rome, Italy. At the conference, Semtech featured several products for the critical hyper-scale data center and 5G wireless markets. The technologies demonstrated by Semtech from its diverse portfolio of Optical solutions include the ClearEdge® CDR platform for low-cost 25G SFP28 modules that will be an essential component of the 5G infrastructure build out. Additionally, Semtech demonstrated its new line of Tri-Edge CDRs and FiberEdge™ linear Physical Media Dependent (PMD) devices that will help drive current Cloud data center build outs.