Optical PHYs

Delivering best-in-class performance while providing unprecedented power efficiency and speed for hyper-scale data centers

Inphi is a leader in PAM4 DSP technology, developing low-power and high-performance solutions for optical module and line card applications for distances between 100m to 10km interconnects.


Inphi’s Optical PHYs support the needs of both cloud operators and service providers for high-speed physical layer data transmission over multi-mode and single mode fibers. Specifically, this includes signal recovery, retiming, grooming, error correction and gearbox operations.

Our Optical PHYs includes NRZ (0,1), PAM (4 levels of voltages) and comply with the most stringent quality metrics in field operations used for mission critical telecom, cloud and enterprise applications.

The existing and upcoming megatrends of cloud services, video streaming, big data, transition to 5G wireless, e-commerce and Augmented and Virtual Reality among others, are causing a data and traffic explosion, driving an insatiable need for increased bandwidth and data rates. There is a concurrent clear need to increase the speed of the interconnect pipes, within and between data centers, and to deliver low cost, high-speed 50/100/200/400G interconnects supported by smaller form factor optical modules. Inphi’s PAM4 DSP PHYs deliver best-in-class performance while providing the unprecedented power efficiency and speed required for hyper-scale data centers. Based on the performance specs, Inphi’s PAM4 DSP PHY already have an impressive list of tier-1 OEM commitments for 50/100/200/400G line card interconnects.

The foundation of the Inphi PAM4 DSP PHY is a highly configurable DSP Engine that is based on three generations of proven silicon and can be targeted to multiple different performance oriented applications operating with industry leading power efficiency.

The PAM4 DSP PHYs support next generation QSFP, QSFP-DD, OSFP and CFP8 optical modules, serving as the device needed to drive the channels in Retimer applications or as a gearbox in rate-mismatched applications on highly dense system line cards.

Leadership in Power, Performance and Cost Metrics for Optical Interconnects in Next Gen Cloud Deployments

Inphi’s 16nm Porrima™ PAM4 DSP IC provides a full bi-directional interface with host ASICs that have 28GBaud PAM4and NRZ electrical interfaces while bridging to 56GBaud optics. The product family can support PAM4 or NRZ signaling, and both Retiming and Gearbox functionality with packaging specifically designed for the following optics modules:

  • • Porrima 400G – 8x56Gbps PAM4 <-> 4x100Gbps PAM4 for QSFP-DD/oSFP/COBO
  • • Porrima 100G – 4x25Gbps NRZ <-> 1x100Gbps PAM4 for QSFP
  • • Porrima 100G- 2x50Gbps PAM4 <-> 1x100Gbps PAM4 for QSFP/uQSFP/SFP-DD

Inphi’s 16nm Polaris™ PAM4 DSP PHY family of ICs provide a full bi-directional interface with host ASICs that have 28GBaud PAM4 and NRZ electrical interfaces and bridge to 28GBaud PAM4 optics. The product family can support PAM4 or NRZ signaling and both Retiming and Gearbox functionality with packaging specifically designed for the following optics modules:

  • • Polaris-400G – 8x56Gbps PAM4 <-> 16x28Gbps NRZ gearbox for CFP8
  • • Polaris-400G (NG) – 8x56Gbps <-> 8x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for OSFP / QSFP-DD
  • • Polaris-200G – 4x56Gbps <-> 4x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for QSFP56
  • • Polaris-100G – 2x56Gbps <-> 2x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for QSFP28
  • • Polaris-50G – 1x56Gbps <-> 1x56Gbps PAM4 retiming for SFP56

Delivering Accelerated Connectivity and Highly Integrated Functionality at Cloud-Scale and Enterprise Data Centers

Inphi’s new Vega™ family of low power 50/100/200/400G PAM4 Gearbox and Retimer DSPs for system line cards leverages our industry-leading DSP-based PAM4 to expand the bandwidth capacity of next generation networks. The Vega family delivers accelerated connectivity for wired network infrastructure at cloud-scale data centers, enterprise, and service providers. The Vega line includes:

  • • Vega-400G Retimer – 8x56Gbps PAM4 <-> 8x56Gbps PAM4 for line cards
  • • Vega 400G Gearbox – 8x56Gbps PAM4 <-> 16x25Gbps NRZ for line cards

Pioneering Technology Transitions for Service Provider Client Side Networking Interfaces

Inphi’s 100G CMOS PHY/SerDes Gearbox is based on the unique and groundbreaking iPHY™ architecture which is purpose built for client side networking interfaces that push the envelope on power, performance, integration, latency and cost. When compared to available competing SiGe and FPGA solutions, Inphi’s PAM4 DSP consumes one-third the power and half the area making it an ideal choice for high density front panel line card implementations. Consuming less than 1.8-W and housed in a 8.5×10.5mm package, Inphi’s 100G PAM4 DSP is the lowest power and smallest footprint CMOS PAM4 DSP IC in the industry. The Gearbox ICs are available in two variants:

  • • IN112510 100GGB for line cards, used alongside CFP2 or CFP4 modules
  • • IN012510 100G GB for use in CFP module applications

Built in a mature generic digital CMOS process and using mainstream ball grid array packaging techniques, the Inphi PAM4 DSP ICs are built to support volume production while exceeding critical parameters in the IEEE 802.3ba, OIF-28G-VSR and ITU specifications.

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