First 50G PAM4 DSP chipset for 5G RAN

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Marvell has launched the industry’s first 50Gbps PAM4 digital signal processor (DSP) and transinductance amplifier (TIA) chipset for 5G fronthaul designs.

The two AtlasOne chips support integrated radio access networks (RAN), as well as Open (O-RAN) and virtualized (vRAN) architectures for next generation 5G networks.

This is the industry’s first PAM4 DSP integrated Direct Modulated Laser driver in mainstream CMOS technology with industrial temperature range support for 5G fronthaul applications with a 25 percent reduction in power consumption.

The optical DSP supports multiple industry standard protocols for link distances up to 40km using a PAM4 digital core for optimal performance across a range of applications. In addition to the digital core, the platform integrates the PMD Tx layer including a selection of laser drivers. Additionally, the platform make use of the host side SERDES and API library from Marvell’s Polaris PAM4 DSP, which is the industry’s most widely deployed solution

The companion IN5662 TIA provides linearity while maintaining ultra-low noise and power.

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5G adoption is accelerating among consumers and expanding into new enterprise and industrial markets. To prepare for the anticipated surge in 5G traffic, carriers are upgrading radio capacity with wider bandwidths – up to 200 MHz – and massive MIMO technology with up to 64 transmit and receive antennas per Radio Unit (RU). This means the fronthaul bandwidth needs to increase to 50G, which comes from moving to the PAM4 encoding.

O-RAN enables carriers to accelerate capacity upgrades by selecting the best-in-class radio and fronthaul solutions from different vendors as soon as the most advanced solutions become available. With vRAN, baseband capacity instances can be aggregated in a Distributed Unit (DU) and dynamically shared among multiple RUs. When sufficient radio and fronthaul bandwidths are provisioned, carriers can adaptively shift capacity towards unforeseen traffic spikes to improve network efficiency and user experience.

“We’re proud to introduce the AtlasOne chipset, a robust, high-performance solution that is helping to make 50G a reality in 5G infrastructure,” said Xi Wang, VP Product Marketing, Optical Connectivity at Marvell. “With this latest addition to our portfolio, we offer telecom carriers access to the same trusted solutions that Marvell has successfully delivered to top hyperscale data center operators.”

“Fueled by burgeoning 5G adoption and Internet traffic growth, advances in both radio unit capabilities and system architecture are accentuating the importance of high-speed data interconnect, particularly at the edge, where network efficiency and scalability can be greatly enhanced with new virtualized architectures,” said Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst, LightCounting. “With Marvell’s extensive end-to-end RAN experience, its new AtlasOne chipset is well-positioned to become an essential ingredient for the most advanced 5G networks.”

The AtlasOne chipset is sampling now to select OEM customers. Marvell’s RAN OEM customers include Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Fujitsu and ZTE.

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