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Maxim's 40G Chipset Reduces Power Consumption and Boosts Data-Center Throughput

Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM) announces a 40G transmitter chipset that provides data centers with 4x the data throughput, at very low power, and in little more space than conventional single-channel alternatives. The new 4-channel 40GBASE-LR4 QSFP+ chipset comprises the MAX3948 DC-coupled laser driver and the DS4830 optical microcontroller.
Data centers and data communication networks need to significantly increase data density while staying within their already constrained power budgets. Maxim’s QSFP+ transmitter solution addresses both challenges. The QSFP+ modules supply 4x the data throughput in only 1.5x the area of a single-channel SFP+ solution. Equally important, Maxim’s chipset enables 4 x 10Gbps QSFP+ modules to consume less power per channel than single SFP+ modules. Service providers and network operators can now enjoy the benefits of a low-power solution that extends system life, reduces operational expense, and conserves valuable energy resources.

MAX3948 Key Advantages
  •     Consumes less than 2W for 4 transmit channels, enabling less than 3.5W QSFP+ module power consumption.
  •     DC-coupled laser interface (patent-pending, application number 13/352,011) reduces power consumption and external component count.
DS4830 Key Advantages
  •     On-chip 13-bit ADC with dedicated round-robin offloads 16-bit microcontroller core and lowers clock speed; saves 75mW to 100mW compared to competitive solutions.
  •     Single-cycle multiply accumulator (MAC) allows DS4830 to speed through filter calculations and easily maintain four average power control (APC) loops.
Commentary:
  •     "Power consumption has emerged as the single most critical constraint in today’s data center," said Karen Liu, Principal Analyst at Ovum. "It limits density and performance which, in turn, determine cost. Maxim’s chip innovation tackles this key problem."
  •     "The MAX3948 and DS4830 demonstrate Maxim’s innovative approach to integration. This chipset resolves power-density limitations in data-center interconnects by utilizing DC coupling to the laser," said Dr. Andrew Sharratt, Senior Business Manager at Maxim Integrated Products. "This transmitter solution meets all QSFP+ requirements and provides minimum power dissipation."
Availability and Pricing

  •     MAX3948
    •         Available in a 3mm x 3mm, 16-pin TQFN package.
    •         Specified for the -40°C to +95°C temperature range.
    •         Pricing starts at $5 (1000-up, FOB USA).
  •     DS4830
    •         Available in a 5mm x 5mm, 40-pin TQFN package.
    •         Pricing starts at $2.85 (1000-up, FOB USA).
A reference design is available upon request.

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