16 Gbit/s VCSEL drivers enable Light Peak communications interconnects

IPtronics (Roskilde, Denmark) has introduced silicon parallel optical interconnects based on bipolar complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology capable of driving vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) at 16 Gbit/s speeds per optical channel. IPtronics is collaborating with Intel (Santa Clara, CA) and other optical-component providers to create "Light Peak," a high-speed interconnect technology designed to connect consumer electronic devices together optically. Intel's Light Peak initiative requires IPtronics' high-speed VCSEL drivers for high bandwidth and the ability to run multiple input/output protocols (Ethernet, FDDI) over a single fiber-optic cable, connecting many devices such as displays, disk drives, and docking stations to a laptop.

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Existing electrical cables are approaching practical limits for speed and length, whereas Light Peak is designed to scale from 10 Gbit/s to 100 Gbit/s optically. Light Peak's optical module performs the conversion from electrons to photons using lasers and photodetectors. IPtronics supplies those data-agnostic driver and receiver silicon components for usage inside the optical module. At 10 Gbit/s, a full-length Blu-Ray movie can be transferred in less than 30 s. Contact Jesper Bek at jwb@iptronics.com.

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