Zarlink Showcases Industry's First 20 Gbps Parallel Fiber Optic Module for InfiniBand DDR Standard at OFC (Booth No. 3349)


- Highly reliable 4-channel x 5 Gbps module delivers superior mix of throughput, power consumption and density for high-growth InfiniBand applications

OTTAWA, Canada, March 7 / -- Zarlink Semiconductor (NYSE/TSX:ZL) today announced that it is demonstrating the industry's first 20 Gbps PFOM (parallel fiber optic module) to meet the new InfiniBand(TM) 4x-DDR- SX standard at the OFC show, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA, March 7 to 9 (Booth No. 3349). Zarlink's low power, high-density 4-channel x 5 Gbps module delivers 20 Gbps of throughput for high-performance computing environments, including storage farms and server clusters.

The InfiniBand DDR optical interconnection standard is drawing widespread interest because it offers data transmission lengths of up to 150 meters - a 10-fold improvement over electrical interconnect standards - and meets the demand for short-reach interconnect data rates of 6.25 Gbps and beyond. Zarlink's PFOM technology allows designers to substantially increase throughput and node connections, while eliminating electrical cabling problems that severely impact network management.

"InfiniBand is expected to grow at 10 percent each year," said Daryl Inniss, vice president, Communication Components, for Ovum-RHK. "The advent of DDR increases the demand for low cost, high-performance interconnects that support distances over 100 meters, and is vital for the continued growth of the optical market."

"Our parallel fiber optic module platform delivers a high-data rate interconnect solution that raises the bar on reliability and flexibility," said Dr. Stan Swirhun, senior vice president and general manager, Zarlink Optical Products Group. "These new 20 Gbps modules deliver the industry's best mix of throughput, power consumption and density."

Customers are now sampling Zarlink's new PFOM technology. The devices will be generally available later in 2006.

Extensive PFOM platform

Optimized for the InfiniBand 4x-DDR-SX (InfiniBand Architecture Specification, Volume 2, Release 1.2), Zarlink's 20 Gbps transceiver modules are the newest addition to its PFOM platform, which includes the 4-channel ZL60301 and 12-channel ZL60101 series. The new module offers four independent, parallel, transmit and receive channels, each capable of 5 Gbps throughput and a link reach of 150 meters. Power consumption is less than one Watt, while edge and board densities are far superior to those offered by competing serial short-reach optical interconnect products.

Zarlink's PFOMs offer an SPI (serial peripheral interface) that provides individual channel control and direct access to diagnostic functions within the modules, such as temperature and operating time. This system access delivers much more efficient management and control of the optical networking system.

Modules based on Zarlink's VCSEL technology

The 20 Gbps modules are based on Zarlink's 850 nm (nanometer) oxide VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser) technology on the transmit side. Zarlink's VCSELs demonstrate industry-leading reliability characteristics and have passed 3000 hours of harsh bias-damp-heat testing (85 degrees Celsius and 85 percent relative humidity).

Operationally, a Zarlink laser driver and four-device VCSEL array converts differential electrical input signals into parallel optical outputs with 850 nm wavelengths. The module's receive side uses a four-wide PIN photodiode array and amplifiers to convert parallel optical input signals into differential electrical outputs.

Compliance with industry standards
In addition to InfiniBand DDR, Zarlink's parallel fiber optic modules conform to the POP4 MSA (pluggable optics 4-channel multi-source agreement), making them a direct replacement for extended reach at high data rates. The POP4 MSA, co-founded by Zarlink, promotes a common standard for PFOMs, including footprint, packaging density, electronic and optical interface, and general performance characteristics. The agreement encourages flexible and reliable system design by ensuring that customers have access to multiple reliable sources. Today, POP4-compliant modules are the only parallel optical transceivers shipping in volume.

About Zarlink Semiconductor
For over 30 years, Zarlink Semiconductor has delivered semiconductor solutions that drive the capabilities of voice, enterprise, broadband and wireless communications. The Company's success is built on its technology strengths including voice and data networks, optoelectronics and ultra low- power communications. For more information, visit www.zarlink.com.

Shareholders and other individuals wishing to receive, free of charge, copies of the reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Regulatory Authorities, should visit the Company's web site at www.zarlink.com or contact investor relations.

Zarlink, ZL and the Zarlink Semiconductor logo are trademarks of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.
InfiniBand is the trademark of the InfiniBand Trade Association

CONTACT: North America: Heather McCulligh, Media Relations, (613) 270-7322, heather.mcculligh@zarlink.com

More from Packaging Products & Equipment

All Topics