Inphi and Sierra Monolithics enable widespread 40G network adoption

First demonstrated interoperability between 40G modulator driver and multiplexer/clock multiplier unit in surface-mount technology
 
WESTLAKE VILLAGE and REDONDO BEACH, Calif., September 8, 2009 – Inphi Corporation and Sierra Monolithics, both leaders in semiconductor components for 40G networks, have announced the first successful interoperability demonstration of a 40G modulator driver and multiplexer/clock multiplier unit (MUX/CMU) in surface-mount technology (SMT).
 
Inphi is a high-speed analog semiconductor company providing leading-edge components that operate at critical interfaces within cloud computing environments, addressing the bandwidth, capacity and power issues faced by data centers and 40G/100G networks. Sierra Monolithics is the recognized world leader in 40G and 100G serializer-deserializer (SerDes) components. Together, the companies’ 40G modulator driver and MUX/CMU in SMT are important for enabling lower-cost, smaller-form-factor 40G transponders.
 
“The significance of this announcement is that it demonstrates the viability of surface-mount technology for next-generation 40G networks,” said Loi Nguyen, vice president of broadband analog products for Inphi. “Inphi is driving the ecosystem to transition from metal packages with microwave connectors to SMT solutions that achieve good signal integrity at very high speeds. Inphi’s differential modulator driver for 40G, the 2811DZ, allows board designers to utilize full differential signaling between components to realize the best signal integrity and the lowest amount of crosstalk.”
 
“Our next-generation 40G Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DQPSK) SerDes chipset, the SMI4029 and SMI4039, consumes approximately one-half the power of SMI’s previous-generation SerDes and is available for the first time in surface-mount Ball-Grid Array (BGA) packages,” said Craig Hornbuckle, vice president of systems engineering at Sierra Monolithics. “This demonstration paves the way for a rapid commercial development of 40G DQPSK systems based on lower-cost, smaller-form-factor SMT components.”
 
Current 40G transponders are designed using components in large and expensive metal packages with microwave connectors. However, the widespread deployment of 40G in backbone and regional/metro networks will require innovative solutions based on SMT solutions – such as the Inphi/Sierra Monolithic demonstration – to reduce transponder size and cost.
 
DQPSK is an important modulation scheme for next-generation 40G optical transport systems, according to the two companies. Compared to previous generation of 40G, DQPSK modulation is more resilient to impairments in optical fiber and Optical Add-Drop Multiplexers, which makes it ideal for both backbone and metro/regional networks.
 
“We expect 40G DQPSK will be the dominant modulation format for 40G deployment worldwide,” said Inphi’s Nguyen.
 
Product availability
Inphi’s 2811DZ modulator driver is available for sampling immediately and is expected to be available in production quantities in Q4 2009. Sierra Monolithics’ 40G DQPSK SerDes chipset (SMI4029 and SMI4039) is available for sampling now, with production quantities expected in Q4 2009.
 
About Sierra Monolithics
Sierra Monolithics Inc. is a leading supplier of proven analog and mixed-signal IC solutions for optical communications, wireless and microwave/millimeter wave applications. Founded in 1988, Sierra Monolithics has leveraged its mixed-signal UC design and expertise in high-frequency aerospace and defense communications to develop a variety of high-performance optical ICs, RFICs and MMICs. Currently, Sierra Monolithics designs and manufactures products for broadband wireless (WiMAX RFICs), optical communications (OC-768 SerDes) and microwave/millimeter markets. Sierra Monolithics is privately held with headquarters in Irvine, Calif. For more information, please visit www.monolithics.com.
 
About Inphi
Inphi Corporation, a high-speed analog semiconductor company, provides leading-edge components that operate at critical interfaces within cloud computing environments, addressing the bandwidth, capacity and power issues faced by data centers and 40G/100G networks. By leveraging its core competencies in advanced analog circuit design, signal integrity, power management, packaging and process technologies, Inphi has taken a leadership role in the markets it serves. Inphi’s more than 150 analog components push the boundaries of existing server, storage and broadband networking applications while paving the way for new ones. To learn more about Inphi, visit www.inphi.com.