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Semtech Addresses 5G Wireless Front Haul With its Latest 50Gbps Tri-Edge CDR IC Solution

April 9, 2021
GN2256 is a bidirectional Tri-Edge CDR with integrated differential EML driver for 50Gbps SFP56 PAM4 5G wireless optical modules

Semtech announced sampling of the newest member of its Tri-Edge CDR portfolio, the GN2256. Integrating Semtech’s proven Tri-Edge CDR platform with a differential EML (Externally Modulated Laser) driver, the GN2256 is the industry’s first such IC solution to enable 50Gbps PAM4 Fixed-WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing), Tunable WDM and Silicon Photonics optical modules. As with all Tri-Edge ICs, the GN2256 offers ultra-low latency, low power and use of low cost 25Gbps bandwidth optics to operate at 50Gbps PAM4.

[Editor's note; we recently talked to Raza Khan, senior marketing manager at Semtech, about the company's 5G front-haul applications here: Integrating 5G into the Wireless Infrastructure.]

The approach to expanding 5G wireless infrastructure bandwidth differs based on geographic region, deployment area considerations and carrier preferences. This often requires different types of optical modules in 5G wireless front haul links. In regions where it is typically difficult to install more fiber or reduce overhead costs, carriers utilize “colored” optical modules that send and receive multiple signals using differing wavelengths on a single fiber.

These optical modules are also referred to as WDM optical modules and are critical for the 5G wireless infrastructure, especially for countries like Japan, Korea and the U.S. The GN2256 combines Semtech’s proprietary analog Tri-Edge technology with enhanced laser driver compensation to enable IEEE and Open Eye MSA compliant optical modules over industrial temperature ranges. Semtech’s Tri-Edge 5G platform addresses the full range of optical modules needed for all regions by enabling multiple types of SFP56 optical modules operating at 50Gbps PAM4.

The GN2256 is now available for sampling and Semtech will also offer a complete Reference Design Kit (RDK) including complete module-level firmware to enable rapid adoption of Semtech’s solution.

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