Samtec and II-VI Incorporated link to boost on-board optical engine technology

Samtec has introduced a 56 Gbps PAM4 per channel demonstration of the next-generation Samtec FireFly on-board optical engine technology. II-VI’s recently announced high speed VCSELs are embedded within the FireFly system architecture.

The demonstration platform showcases low latency, high performance, on-board optical engines transmitting at 56 Gbps PAM4 per channel. The FireFly Micro Flyover System copper and optical options offer a direct connection into the ASIC/FPGA package bypassing the PCB for improved density and performance. The latest FireFly solutions are compatible with new generation FPGAs that support 56G PAM4 transceivers.

The FireFly mid-board optical engines offer system designers flexibility and performance advantages compared to pluggable optical transceivers, says Samtec.

FireFly features multiple optical front panel interconnect options. Its compact footprint is said by Samtec to 4x smaller than the standard quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP) module size and uses the same micro connector for both optical and copper cable assemblies. Best-in-class optics, enable 56 Gbps PAM4 that consume only a few pico-joules of energy per bit.

II-VI’s 4-channel VCSEL arrays can be modulated at 56 Gbps PAM4 to achieve a combined 200 Gbps over short reach multimode links. AOCs and transceivers based on VCSELs offer a solution for datacentre links that span from 10 to 300 metres.

“The high-performance and compact size of the protocol-agnostic FireFly redefines optical connectivity in a broad range of applications such as video, aerospace, embedded computing, instrumentation, HPC and data centre,” said Arlon Martin, senior director, marketing, Samtec Optical Group.

“This product demonstration leverages II-VI’s 56 Gbps PAM4 VCSELs, which are industry-leading in performance and reliability.”

Karlheinz Gulden, general manager, II-VI Laser Enterprise added: “We worked closely with Samtec to ensure that our VCSELs exceeded the requirements for their high-performance 200G FireFly mid-board optical engines.

“We successfully integrated our leading-edge 56 Gbps PAM4 VCSEL arrays into Samtec’s transceivers.”

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