Advancing the DSP Infrastructure to Ensure Communications Fit for the Present Day

Marvell Technology, a leader in data infrastructure semiconductor solutions, has officially announced the launch of products, technology, and partnerships to scale optical technology for accelerated infrastructure. According to certain reports, the development in question begins from Nova 2, which happens to be industry’s first 1.6T optical DSP that features 200G per lane electrical and optical I/O. In practice, Marvell Nova 2 will empower module integrators to produce industry-standard optical transceivers that, in turn, deliver bandwidth density required by switches, AI accelerators and other devices. Currently in sampling phase, the stated product builds upon Marvell’s 1.6T optical DSP called Nova that features 100G per lane electrical I/O. Next up, the company will introduce Marvell 3D SiPho Engine, a product capable of combining various components needed for optical communications, clubbing them all into a single device. Decked up with 200G I/O, this particular product conceives 2x the bandwidth, 2x the input/output (I/O) bandwidth density, and 30% lower power per bit versus comparable devices with 100 Gbps electrical and optical interfaces. Talk about possible use cases, they include modules for AI clusters. Then, we have the Spica Gen-2-T. Spica Gen-2-T marks a new category of optical DSPs, delivering at your disposal transmit retimed optical (TRO) modules, an emerging class of modules for AI and cloud use cases. In case you weren’t are, transmit-only DSPs make it possible for TROs to reduce power consumption by more than 40% against conventional transceivers. Markedly enough, though, the solution is actually the fourth 800 Gbps optical DSP from Marvell, each one geared towards optimizing optical DSPs, along with other cloud and AI silicon, for specific use cases and applications. Moving on, the company will also put on display Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS) capabilities. These capabilities will double the reach of coherent DSP modules employed for long-distance communications.

“Over the last two decades, optical data rates have increased 1000x while energy per bit has declined 100×3, and in the process transformed data infrastructure and enabled the rise of services like streaming media, cloud computing, smartphones and AI,” said Dr. Radha Nagarajan, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Optical Platforms at Marvell Technology and the 2024 recipient of the David Richardson Medal for significant contributions to optical engineering. “The industry is now entering a new chapter and Marvell is looking forward to collaborating with its partners in extending the horizons of this far-reaching technology.”

Hold on, there are still a few bits left to unpack, considering we still haven’t acknowledged Marvell’s collaboration with Juniper Networks and Coherent Corp. to launch a combined solution that features Marvell’s industry’s first 800 Gbps coherent DSP for long-distance data center interconnects and telecommunications networks, Coherent’s module technology, and Juniper’s routing platform. As a part of the entire effort, Marvell’s vice president of marketing for Optical Connectivity, Xi Wang has also proposed a possible O-band Optics use case where the idea is to leverage them at higher bandwidths to cover greater lengths than PAM4 DSPs. This they will do while consuming less power than today’s coherent DSPs.

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