Marvell aims AECs powered by its PAM4 DSP technology at cloud data centers

Oct. 25, 2022
To address soaring data center bandwidth demand, leading cable manufacturers are now delivering cloud-optimized interconnects powered by Marvell's semiconductor technology.
Marvell Logo

Marvell Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRVL), a specialist in data infrastructure semiconductor technology, announced that leading cable manufacturers are sampling to cloud data center operators the company's 100G/lane active electrical cables (AECs), powered by the Marvell Alaska A PAM4 DSPs.

The new AECs enable next-generation 400G, 800G and 1.6T server-to-switch and switch-to-switch interconnects that require 100G serial I/Os for data-intensive artificial intelligence, machine learning and high-performance computing workloads.

At these speeds, Marvell notes that the physical reach achievable with passive direct attach cables (DACs) falls short of the distance requirements for server-to-ToR (top of rack) and switch-to-switch interconnects. For cloud operators to continue their routine data center bandwidth doubling, most of these interconnects must transition from DAC to AEC, contends the company.

The Alaska A PAM4 DSP family enables cable manufacturers to deliver optimized AEC solutions that meet the unique and diverse requirements of leading cloud data center operators. The emerging AEC interconnect product category expands Marvell's addressable market for high-speed DSP technology.

Marvell notes its PAM4 SerDes technology and Ethernet IP in the Alaska A family underpin the performance of the new interconnects, "complemented by the power and speed advantages of a cutting-edge process node."

Marvell says its Alaska A family further applies advanced DSP equalization techniques and flexible firmware-based implementation to optimally compensate for the impairments introduced by the cable on the high-speed 100G PAM4 signal. This provides the ability to deploy thin cables that address the reach and flexibility needs of next-generation data center architectures.

Venu Balasubramonian, VP of product marketing, High Speed Connectivity and PHY Business Unit, at Marvell commented:

"Alaska A DSPs are foundational to 100G/lane serial-based connectivity and have extended Marvell's PAM4 DSP portfolio to short-reach interconnects in cloud data centers. The availability of these high-performance AECs by leading cable providers is an important milestone in addressing the 100G/lane architectures that are set to be the next data center inflection point."

According to a press release, active electrical cables powered by the Marvell Alaska A PAM4 DSPs are sampling now from Amphenol, Molex and TE Connectivity.


"Amphenol's AEC interconnect products incorporating Marvell's Alaska A DSPs enable us to offer an advanced solution with the performance needed for next-generation infrastructure architectures. The delivery of these AEC interconnects to our customers underscores the critical performance and reliability requirements they meet for 100G/lane connectivity." -- Brian Kirk, CTO at Amphenol

"Our data center customers are looking to extend link reach at higher data rates as speeds continue to rise and cable functionality continues to become increasingly important to cloud infrastructure. Our latest AEC portfolio shipping with Marvell's Alaska A DSPs brings a compelling solution to our customers for their high-performance interconnect architectures." -- Brian Hauge, VP and GM, Copper Solutions, at Molex

"Next-generation data centers with 100G/lane Ethernet will require advanced cabling solutions to meet the reach, flexibility and power requirements. The combination of Marvell's Alaska A DSP with TE's advanced 100G cabling capability will enable a portfolio of AEC solutions for mission-critical data center applications." -- Mike Tryson, CTO and VP of Engineering at TE Connectivity

"A data center is only as strong as its weakest link. We anticipate AEC adoption to occur rapidly with shipments of AEC chips growing by 10x to nearly 25 million units per year by 2026. AEC cables will play a pivotal role in server to Top-of-Rack switching in the data center as server speeds increase to 100 Gbps and beyond. AI/ML-based servers are already pushing the limits of current cable technology." -- Alan Weckel, co-founder of analyst firm 650 Group

For more news, projects, and profiles in the ICT cabling and connectivity industry, subscribe to CI&M’s newsletter and follow us on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

Sponsored Recommendations

Cat 6A Frequently Asked Questions

April 29, 2024
At CommScope we know about network change and the importance of getting it right. Conclusion Category 6A cabling and connectivity.

Revolutionize Your Network with Propel Fiber Modules

Oct. 24, 2023
Four sizes of interchangeable Propel fiber modules provide the breadth of capabilities for virtually any configuration.

Elevate Your Network with Propel High-Density Panels

Oct. 24, 2023
Propel Series Sliding Fiber Optic Panels

Constellation™ - Explore power and data products

Oct. 24, 2023
Discover the Essentials for Building Your Power and Data System!