40G chipset reduces power consumption to boost data-center throughput

August 29, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. unveils a 40G transmitter chipset that provides data centers with 4x the data throughput, at low power, and in little more space than conventional single-channel alternatives. The new 4-channel 40GBASE-LR4 QSFP+ chipset comprises the MAX3948 DC-coupled laser driver and the DS4830 optical microcontroller.

Data centers and data communication networks need to significantly increase data density while staying within their already constrained power budgets. Maxim’s QSFP+ transmitter solution addresses both challenges. The QSFP+ modules supply 4x the data throughput in only 1.5x the area of a single-channel SFP+ solution. Equally important, Maxim’s chipset enables 4 x 10Gbps QSFP+ modules to consume less power per channel than single SFP+ modules. Service providers and network operators can now enjoy the benefits of a low-power solution that extends system life, reduces operational expense, and conserves valuable energy resources.

The MAX3948 consumes less than 2 W for four transmit channels, enabling less than 3.5 W QSFP+ module power consumption.   The  DC-coupled laser interface reduces power consumption and external component count.

The DS4830’s on-chip 13-bit ADC with dedicated round-robin offloads 16-bit microcontroller core and lowers clock speed; saves 75 mW to 100 mW compared to competitive solutions.  The device’s single-cycle multiply accumulator (MAC) allows DS4830 to speed through filter calculations and easily maintain four average power control (APC) loops.

Availability and Pricing

The MAX3948 is available in a 3 mm x 3 mm, 16-pin TQFN package and has a specified a temperature range of -40 to +95°C.  Pricing starts at $5 (1000-up, FOB USA).

The DS4830 is available in a 5 mm x 5 mm, 40-pin TQFN package.  Pricing starts at $2.85 (1000-up, FOB USA).

More information about the DS4830 at optical microcontroller

More information about the MAX3948 DC-coupled laser driver at