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  Date: 31/03/2022

NeoPhotonics shipped a million+ drivers for PAM4 transceivers

NeoPhotonics said it has shipped more than one million single and quad drivers for PAM4 transceivers used in hyperscale data center networks. NeoPhotonics 53 Gbaud PAM4 driver IC is a linear, differential driver based on gallium arsenide (GaAs) and optimized for 1 x 100 Gbps, 4 x 100 Gbps and 8 x 100 Gbps PAM4-based applications. The drivers are in volume production and provide a high RF output voltage swing with high linearity and are well-suited to modulate silicon photonics Mach-Zender Modulators (MZM) used in 400G data center transceivers, while maintaining exceptional Quaternary Transmitter Dispersion Eye Closure (TDECQ).

Drivers are a critical component in optical transmission systems and function to match signals between the CMOS digital electrical data and the analog optical components. Modulators impress the data on an optical signal and often require higher voltage swings than are generated by the high-speed CMOS based electronics which manipulate the digital data. The Driver IC amplifies the low voltage electrical signal to a level required by the optical modulator, maintaining linearity and achieving sufficient bandwidth. NeoPhotonics linear drivers feature high output voltage > 3.4Vppd, low crosstalk, high gain, high bandwidth >35GHz supporting 53 Gbaud and low total harmonic distortion (THD) to enable best-in-class PAM4 performance.

“We are pleased to have achieved multiple design wins for our family of 53 Gbaud suite of drivers and are now shipping them in high volume. We have been shipping GaAs drivers for nearly a decade and have a deep technology base. We started with 10 Gbps devices, and are now shipping devices for 400 Gbps transceivers,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “We continue to improve our product performance and have recently introduced versions of the driver that deliver more than 20% power reduction. Furthermore, we are currently developing next-gen versions that we believe will feature 50% power savings versus the current generation,” concluded Mr. Jenks.

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