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MaxLinear MxL935XX to aid development of high speed mega-scale data centres

MaxLinear has introduced the Telluride family (MxL935XX) of 400Gb/s pulse-amplitude-modulation (PAM4) digital signal processing systems-on-chip devices to address the high-speed optical interconnect needs of mega-scale cloud and enterprise data centres.

Featuring, says the company, the world’s first DSP systems on chip with integrated electro-absorption modulated laser (EA-EML) drivers for 400Gb/s optical interconnects, the range is set to be key for system vendors in developing a 400Gb/s optical interconnect module in a compact form factor for intra-data centre use. Applications of up two kilometres are targeted.

The minimal power consumption of the 16nm device (6.7W) meets the stringent power constraints of 400Gb/s optical module form-factors, namely QSFP-DD, OSFP and COBO devices. MaxLinear is currently sampling the device to optical module vendors who are actively developing 400Gb/s solutions that are expected to launch into mass production in the latter half of 2018. The first models available are the MxL93542 and MxL93543, which feature several operating modes that can connect to multiple generation of switch ASICs (128x25G NRZ, 256x25G NRZ or 256x50G PAM4) enabling 3.2Tb/s, 6.4Tb/s or 12.8Tb/s front panel capacity per data centre rack unit. These different operating modes span a variety of optical module form factors such as QSFP28, SFP-DD, QSFP-DD, OSFP and COBO.

Commented Dr. Kishore Seendripu, CEO of MaxLinear: ‘With the recent announcement of the availability of next-generation switch ASICs that support 50Gb/s PAM4 I/Os, we believe the growth trajectory for PAM4 DSP-based 400Gb/s optical fibre interconnect solutions is at an inflection point. The cost pressure and thermal constraints of 400Gb/s networks necessitate the use of new optical interconnects based on single-lane 100Gb/s optical wavelength technology.

‘Our Telluride MxL935XX 16nm CMOS SoC family, with integrated EA-EML laser drivers, reduced external components, and superior link-margin performance, is perfectly positioned to enable this leapfrogging industry transition. We believe that, currently, the total addressable market for 100Gb/s and 400Gb/s optical interconnect modules greatly exceeds 10 million units annually, not including the anticipated future rapid growth driven by the exploding internet traffic.’


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