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Marvell Expands Interconnect Portfolio with Industry’s 1st Cloud-Optimized 400G/800G PAM4 DSPs for Active Electrical Cables

Marvell Expands Interconnect Portfolio with Industry's 1st Cloud-Optimized 400G/800G PAM4 DSPs for Active Electrical Cables
Enters New Category of Data Center Interconnects to Address Growing AI Accelerator and Networking Bandwidth Requirements

Marvell introduced its Alaska A PAM4 DSP family for Active Electrical Cables (AECs), the industry’s highest performance 400G/800G AEC DSPs to address emerging 100G/lane adoption in cloud data center interconnect architectures. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and networking applications are driving greater bandwidth requirements, resulting in the need for cloud-optimized interconnect solutions that deliver the required reach at lowest power and latency. The new Alaska A family, fabricated in 6nm process, leverages Marvell’s industry-leading PAM4 DSP technology, and the speed and power advantages of a cutting edge process node. These unique differentiators bring a new level of performance to cable manufacturers developing solutions for short reach copper interconnects. The Alaska A PAM4 DSP family enables cable manufacturers to optimize their interconnect portfolios with AEC offerings to meet the diverse needs of different data center customers.

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The new Alaska A DSPs add to Marvell’s comprehensive portfolio of high speed transceivers, including line card retimers, gearboxes and MACsec PHYs supporting rates up to 800G, and active optical cable (AOC) interconnect solutions. Each cloud is unique and Marvell provides a range of interconnect offerings to meet the distinctive requirements of each one — addressing varying architectures, speeds and distances. As next-generation data center architecture moves to 100G/lane-based products to address the need for greater bandwidth, AECs become essential to enable short interconnects previously supported through passive direct attach cables (DACs). Bringing its PAM4 SerDes technology leadership combined with its Ethernet IP, Marvell has created a state-of-the-art AEC interconnect platform that is enabling leading cable makers to deliver optimized solutions for the world’s largest cloud data center customers.

The Alaska A DSPs for AECs can compensate for >40db of loss, which enables longer reach and thinner cables, both of which are key requirements for high density data center deployments. The Marvell AEC platform includes a complete cable reference design for 400G and 800G AECs and software stack with CMIS5.0 support as well as proven interoperability with leading switch and NIC platforms. Marvell’s Alaska A platform brings Marvell’s PAM4 DSP leadership coupled with the state-of-the-art cable manufacturing and assembly expertise of leading cable manufacturers. This combination delivers best-in-class AECs as well as the scalability and supply assurance to meet the critical requirements of cloud customers.

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“100G/lane-enabled products are the next inflection point for data centers, as artificial intelligence, machine learning and other data-intensive workloads grow,” said Achyut Shah, senior vice president and general manager of Marvell’s PHY business unit. “Achieving the reach needed for AI accelerators and server to top-of-rack links and switch-to-switch interconnects requires an active electrical cable (AEC) solution because of the reach limitations and cable thickness challenges of passive direct attach offerings at 100G/lane. We are working with all major cable vendors and cloud operators on end-to-end AEC solutions based on our  Alaska A DSPs to enable 100G serial-based next-generation data center deployments.”

“AEC is a must-have technology for 100G/lane connectivity, and it is being driven by cloud data centers looking for optimal switch-to-switch and switch-to-ToR interconnects,” said Alan Weckel, founding analyst for 650 Group. “Although the AEC market is relatively new, we forecast the market growing at a CAGR of over 100% for the next five years as higher speeds continue permeating the server to top of rack links. Marvell entering this market will help accelerate the deployment of 800G/400G AEC solutions.”

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