uSenlight Selects MaxLinear’s PAM4 DSP to Deliver Sub-3.5W 100G Optical Modules

Posted Jun 18, 2021

MaxLinear, Inc., a leading provider of radio frequency (RF), analog, digital and mixed-signal integrated circuits, announced that uSenlight Corporation, a key ODM developing high-speed, high-performance, reliable integrated optical modules for datacenter, FTTx, optical networking and CPRI/LTE applications, has selected the MxL93516 PAM4 DSP to develop sub-3.5-watt 100G single lambda DR optical modules.

The MxL93516, MaxLinear’s second-generation Snowmass DSP, enables sub-3.5W QSFP28 and SFP-DD 100G optical modules. Like the first-generation, the MxL93516 offers a monolithically integrated EA-EML laser driver that significantly reduces the overall optical module BOM cost.

uSenlight’s new optical modules build upon the success of the company’s current product offerings of 100G QSFP28 PSM4 and 100G QSFP28 CWDM4 modules for data center connectivity. uSenlight’s experience in data center transceiver design and its manufacturing capabilities enable them to meet the growing demands of hyperscale data center and wireless fronthaul customers.

We are excited to see the adoption of our 100G PAM4 DSP by uSenlight for their DR1 QSFP28 transceiver modules,” said Drew Guckenberger, Vice President of MaxLinear’s Optical Interconnect Group. “The low power, high level of integration and performance of Snowmass DSPs enable companies like uSenlight to develop low power, small form factor, 100G optical interconnects for next-generation hyperscale data centers and wireless fronthaul applications.”

MaxLinear’s MxL93516 PAM4 DSP with integrated EML driver offers the highest level of integration and superior link-margin performance in a low-power SoC,” said Dr. Charles Wu, President of uSenlight Corporation. “The integration and performance of the MxL93516 PAM4 DSP have enabled us to expand our portfolio by developing 100Gbps optical interconnects for hyperscale datacenters and wireless fronthaul applications.

Technical Details

The MxL93516 is part of MaxLinear’s second-generation Snowmass family of low-power, high-performance PAM4 DSP SoCs. The industry leading family consists of the MxL93515 and MxL93516. The MxL93516 100G PAM4 DSP integrates an EA-EML driver with 1.8V peak-to-peak single-ended swing. The MxL93515 offers a differential 800mV peak-to-peak swing for non-EA-EML-based optics. These PAM4 DSPs enable 100Gbps QSFP28 optical modules using 4*25G NRZ host interface to 1*100G PAM4 optical interface and SFP-DD optical modules using 2*50G PAM4 host interface to 1*100G PAM4 optical interface.

MaxLinear has engineered a very high-performance DSP engine in both the transmit and receive data paths. The resulting superior link-margin enables single-lane 100Gbps optical wavelength technology by mitigating many of the limitations of mass production optical components.

The devices feature a comprehensive digital pre-distortion (DPD) engine in the transmit direction to compensate for laser non-linearity and to cancel packaging limitations that cause reflections and bandwidth degradation at these extremely high signal frequencies. On the receive path, the DSP includes an auto-adaptive signal enhancement engine, which integrates a continuous time linear equalizer (CTLE), automatic gain control (AGC), a feed forward equalizer (FFE), and a decision feedback equalizer (DFE).