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Inphi launches DSPs for long-distance 400Gb networking

November 27, 2019 / Andy Patrizio

Inphi, a developer of high-speed data interconnects, announced it has begun sampling its new Canopus coherent digital signal processor (DSP), which it claims reduces power draw by up to 75 percent and triples the throughput of data over fiber networks, especially over long distances. The Canopus processor comes on a plug-in module about the size of a cigarette lighter that goes in existing networking equipment. The chip is built on a 7nm manufacturing process, and its silicon geometry delivers over 75 percent reduction in DSP power dissipation and size as compared to the current generation of coherent DSPs. Coherent optical transmission is a technique for transporting considerably more information through a fiber optic cable, and is especially popular when transporting over long distances. It uses modulation and phases of the light to amplify transmission. A DSP is often needed to manage and clean up the photonics. As data centers transition from 100 gigabit Ethernet to 400Gb, they find challenges supporting the longer distances for metro and long haul connections between data centers and clients. The bandwidth being used is going up 40 percent to 50 percent on an annual basis, according to Narimen Yousefi, senior vice president for Coherent DSP at Inphi.