Zarlink Samples Its Optical Engine

Zarlink’s 40-120 Gbit/s optical engine multi-chip module cuts power consumption and improves signal integrity of data center interconnects

November 17, 2009

2 Min Read

OTTAWA -- Zarlink Semiconductor (TSX: ZL) today announced sampling of the Zarlink Optical Engine (ZOE), an innovative scalable-bandwidth multi-chip carrier for dense, compact array-fiber transceivers. The ZOE platform comprises the multi-channel optical light source, optical detector chips, array electronic transmitter, and receiver ICs precision-mounted on a flip-chip glass sub-component carrier with an external array-fiber coupler.

The ZOE platform includes scalable products that terminate 40-120 Gbps full bidirectional optical links or array unidirectional (e.g. HDMI) or serial function. ZOE has outstanding signal integrity, data density and power efficiency. For example, in 4x10 Gbps applications the ZOE 7x7 mm surface-mountable chip carrier dissipates 480 milliwatts (mW) while delivering the industry’s highest footprint density per gigabit.

“ZOE meets an immediate demand for low-power, highly efficient interconnect solutions to support the evolution of ‘green’ data centers and computer clusters,” said Mauricio Peres, product line director with Zarlink’s Optical Products group. “We are expanding our optical portfolio with new dense multichip products that address key customer concerns, such as signal integrity for multiple 10G links, power per bit and cost per bit. The ZOE platform initially targets InfiniBand QDR and 40G/100G Ethernet applications, and will become the industry standard array-fiber optical sub-assembly.”

For environmental and operating cost reasons, data centers require improved optical products for equipment interconnects that consume less power and efficiently support higher data rate performance. A 40 Gbps bidirectional ZOE integrates all key array-optical and array-electronic components on chip carrier; setting a new performance benchmark in the 10-12 mW of power consumption per Gigabit and providing a vast improvement over previous data center interconnect products.

“ZOE’s precision aligned optical source and receive arrays enable simple optical coupling to standard fiber ribbon cables in a proven-reliable non-hermetic package,” said Bertil Kronlund, product line manager with Zarlink’s Optical Communications product group. “ZOE is the industry’s first optical engine produced using wafer-scale assembly. The precision of the flip chip assembly approach enables ultra-compact size and form factors supporting multi-channel data rates to 25 Gbps per channel up to 300 Gbps aggregate of full bidirectional data traffic.”

ZOE is attached to the customers’ circuit board using solder bumps. ZOE targets array-active optical cables and array-receptacle transceivers for InfiniBand QDR (4x10 Gbps), 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet, 12-channel InfiniBand CXP, proprietary high-speed network protocols, CFP short reach, Display Port, and other PC platform applications, such as Intel’s Light Peak.

Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE/Toronto: ZL)

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like