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Optical fibers give PHY chipset low power loss

Posted: 23 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PHY chipset? polymer optical fiber? portable electronics? Silicon Line GmbH? optical data transmission?

A PHY chipset for mobile or portable electronic devices that uses polymer optical fibers to achieve very low power dissipation has been developed by German fabless semiconductor startup Silicon Line GmbH.

The chipset comprises a transimpedance amplifier with integrated limiting amplifier and power dissipation below 5mW, as well as a vertical cavity surface emitting laser driver. The entire system including laser diode consumes less that 10mW, claims Holger Hoeltke, Silicon Line managing director.

"Optical data transmission based on polymer optical fibers or waveguides becomes more and more prevalent", Hoeltke said. "Especially in mobile and portable electronics, where massive EMI constraints, bandwidth and mechanical issues challenge the traditional physical layer design, ultra-low power optical data transmission can be a favorable alternative."

With a bandwidth of 2.5Gbit/s, the chipset sports sub-LVDS I/Os which provide a differential output voltage of 200mV. The SL82016 and SL82026 chips, which exhibit a total area of less than .5mm?, are available as bare dies. Hoeltke declined to say which foundry manufactures the devices.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times Europe

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