Marvell Enters Active Power Cable Chip Space and Expands Portfolio of MMF Devices

Ahead of OFC 2022, Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) made two announcements regarding new families of chips. The company enters the active power cable (AEC) market with the Alaska A PAM4 DSPs. Marvell also unveiled what it claims to be the first series of 8×100 Gbps devices for multimode fiber networks; the range includes the previously announced Spica PAM4 DSP and the new IN5614DV VCSEL linear driver and IN5669TA VCSEL transimpedance amplifier (TIA).

Alaska A DSPs will help enable what Nigel Alvares, vice president of solutions marketing at Marvell, says is an important market for AECs for high-speed connections between server network interface cards (NICs) and top-of-rack (ToR) switches as well as interconnectivity between disaggregated switches using 100G/lane transmission technology. While direct-attach copper (DAC) cables have predominated in these short throw applications at lower transmission rates, transmission and cable thickness limitations will require a different approach when moving to connections at higher throughput that leverage 100G/lane architectures, says Alvares. Enter AECs, which he says will become the go-to option at ranges of 1-5m. Active optical cables would take over for distances greater than 5m.

The Alaska A family includes a pair of 6nm devices for AEC applications. The Alaska A 400G MV-CHA140C0C targets 400G needs while the MV-CHA180C0C meets 800G needs. Both can compensate for >40dB of loss, better than the 28-30dB of competing alternatives, Alvares claimed. Both devices are sampled for AEC development partners and Marvell offers a cable reference design for the AEC 400G and 800G and a software stack with CMIS5.0 support. Spokespersons for Amphenol, Celestica, Luxshare-tech, Molex and Volex provided citations for Alaska A’s announcement.

“AEC is a go-to technology for 100G/lane connectivity, and it’s being driven by cloud data centers looking for optimal switch-to-switch and switch-to-ToR interconnects,” said Alan Weckel, founding analyst of the group. 650, via press release. “Although the AEC market is relatively new, we expect the market to grow at a CAGR of over 100% over the next five years as higher speeds continue to permeate the server through to links from the top of the rack. Marvell’s entry into this market will help accelerate the deployment of 800G/400G AEC solutions. »

800G capacities for multimode fiber

800G multimode fiber devices are designed to support emerging requirements for artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) as well as high-performance computing for such high-speed interconnection, also at 100G per lane . The family will support both active optical cables and optical transceivers. Alvares says Spica is now in production (supporting both singlemode and multimode fiber requirements), while the IN5614DV VCSEL linear driver and IN5669TA VCSEL TIA sample to what Alvares called “traditional optical partners.”

“Demand for high-speed optical interconnects in data centers continues to exceed expectations, growing 80x over the past decade to reach 800G,” commented Vlad Kozlov, Founder and CEO of LightCounting Market Research, via a Marvell press release. “We anticipate continued strong demand for low-cost, short-range multimode technology, and Marvell’s 800G multimode platform is the first solution to address this market need. The platform offers a highly integrated, cost-effective, and easy-to-deploy approach, optimized to drive massive data center growth in the years to come. »

Marvell will be showcasing these new products and other OFCs in San Diego, March 8-10, 2022 at booth 2301.

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