PRODUCT

Broadcom announces PAM-4 physical layer transceiver

Broadcom Corporation, a provider of semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, has announced a line of high-speed 4-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM-4) Physical Layer transceivers (PHYs). The new PAM-4 PHYs enable transmission rates of 40/50 gigabits per second (Gb/s) serially over multiple physical media, including direct attach cables (DAC) and optical fibre.

To support the rapid rise in video and data traffic, there is growing demand for higher speed and more bandwidth over currently deployed infrastructure. As a result, system OEMs are looking at ways to optimise 40/100GbE connectivity. Based on PAM-4 technology, Broadcom's BCM82040 and BCM82004 devices are the first in a line of 40/50/100GbE devices optimised to meet these requirements.

‘Our new PAM-4 PHYs provide the ideal solution for OEMs and data centre operators looking for cost and performance optimisation,’ said Lorenzo Longo, Broadcom Vice President and General Manager, Physical Layer Products. ‘This latest addition to our product line-up demonstrates our commitment to pioneering new technology developments such as PAM-4 and further solidifies our position as the industry leader in wired physical layer devices.’

The 28 nanometer (nm) BCM82040 and BCM82004 PHYs support higher data throughput over existing low bandwidth channels by transmitting more bits per symbol. PAM-4 enables the transmission of 40 Gb/s at a baud rate of 20Gbaud, resulting in improved signal integrity while re-using existing channels for higher data throughput and enabling the use of lower cost cables and optics. The PAM4-line code in the new PHYs require half the bandwidth of Non-Return-to-Zero (NRZ) line code, resulting in higher throughput and lower total system cost and power consumption.

Both devices are designed to transmit and receive 40/50G data over two pairs of media versus eight pairs of media using existing 4x10G quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP) cables. For 40G optical applications, the BCM82040 reduces the number of optical components and optical fibres required by a factor of four, eliminating expensive components and further reducing cost and power.

Key Features:

  • Single 40/50GbE PHY drives 40/50G serial over various media
  • Supports a variety of DAC reaches from multiple suppliers
  • Enables SMF/MMF optics and silicon photonics
  • Low-power 28 nm CMOS design
  • Small 7x7mm package fits within QSFP+ form factor, cable assembly and optics modules
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