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Tao Lang, Microchip Technology on Their Ethernet Leadership with META-DX2L Device Launch

META-DX2L utilizes advance 6 nm CMOS technology, with advanced design techniques that build on the success of the META-DX1 Ethernet PHY.

Tao LangOur customers see excellent value from Microchip’s total system solutions because the components that have been pre-validated as a system, helping to bring designs to production faster states Tao Lang | Communication Business Unit – Senior Product Marketing Manager | Microchip Technology Inc. In this interview, the veteran takes us across their leadership Ethernet market with their PM6200 META-DX2L device launch for the 800G market. Edited Excerpts Below. 

  1. The 112G PAM4 SerDes product and its ecology have recently become a hot spot for discussion in the ultra-large-scale data center industry. What do you think is the reason why it has become a hot topic? Its emergence, what pain points does it solve in the industry?

  • The evolution to 112G PAM4 is a popular topic because it doubles the bandwidth in switches and routers compared to 56G PAM4, enabling data center architectures to continue scaling to larger topologies and higher capacities.
  • 112G PAM4 is also required by 800G Ethernet optics such as QSFP-DD800.microchip
  1. In the past six years, the speed of Ethernet has increased from 25G/50G to 400G today and is expected to reach 800G soon. When do you think it (800G) is likely to come? What problems will users all over the world encounter in actual deployment?

  • We may start seeing some early trials of 800G in 2022 or 2023.
  • 800G Ethernet requires 112G SerDes. One of the challenges will be around signal integrity at these rates. META-DX2L can be used as a retimer to solve these challenges.
  1. As the speed of the switch continues to increase from 12.8T to 51.2T, what challenges does this bring to the SerDes PHY in operation?

  • 51.2.T switches will drive many 112G SerDes ports, which creates system SI challenges that can be solved with retimers like META-DX2L.
  • As density increases, power needs to be managed. META-DX2L offers a 35% savings compared to the previous generation.
  • As capacity and complexity increase, board space becomes tight. META-DX2L is the most compact PHY at 1.6T bandwidth for space-saving.
  • As switch capacity increases, the Ethernet port rate needs to increase too. META-DX2L fully support 800GbE, the latest and fastest Ethernet rate.
  1. Microchip PM6200 META-DX2L was launched for the 800G market in advance. To ensure optimized signal loss, crosstalk, higher throughput and lower power consumption, what technologies does Microchip utilize to make it?

  • META-DX2L utilizes advance 6 nm CMOS technology, with advanced design techniques that build on the success of the META-DX1 Ethernet PHY.
  • META-DX2L has incorporated Microchip’s extensive design expertise on high-speed connectivity, precision timing, constant latency, multi-rate design etc.
  1. PM6200 META-DX2L has 32 112G PAM4 SerDes with long-range (LR) capability, but in fact, data centers need SerDes combination with multiple supports for ultra-short range (VSR), medium-range (MR) and long-range (LR). So, what kind of performance does 112G PAM4 SerDes need to provide optimized performance on these three interfaces? What architecture of SerDes PHY is the best choice for users?

  • META-DX2L offers long-reach (LR) capable 112G PAM4 SerDes with programmability to optimize power vs. performance. The device can be configured to meet the SerDes requirements for any of the use cases.
  • META-DX2L SerDes architecture allows power consumption scaling based on reach.
  1. As we know, simulation performance changes with temperature. PM6200 META-DX2L not only supports industrial temperature range and can be deployed in outdoor environments but has hitless upgrade and warm restart capabilities. How does Microchip make it?

  • META-DX2L is designed for use in carrier grade equipment, from indoor to outdoor, and with flexible features that enable use in applications ranging from a retimer, gearbox or reverse gearbox to a hitless 2:1 multiplexor (mux).
  • Microchip support warm restart in multiple product families for multiple generations and have much experience.
  • Microchip manages to deliver the solution by building on extensive experiences and advanced process nodes.
  1. In addition to PM6200 META-DX2L, are users more interested in Microchip’s proven total system solutions? What does Microchip do to reduce the difficulty of development?

  • Our customers see excellent value from Microchip’s total system solutions because the components that have been pre-validated as a system, helping to bring designs to production faster.
  • META-DX2L’s total system solution extends from 112G SerDes PHY to phase lock loop, clock buffer, oscillators, Low-dropout Regulators (LDO), temperature sensors and secure boot device.
  • META-DX2L’s total system solution is a pre-engineered solution delivering on the needed performance required to support all aspects of the design. This differentiated offering allows designers to immediately focus on delivering on their design.

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Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

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