Marvell Introduces 5nm 800G PAM4 DSP

Marvell’s view of the next generation of 800G coherent DSPs and the alignment of algorithms has the overall goal of reducing power consumption, improving signal integrity, and reducing size. Reducing the MOSFET node process scale and improving accuracy is a traditional optimization route.

800G coherent DSP

Marvell has a dominant position in the PAM4 DSP with the launch of the 400G PAM4 7nm based DSP chip in 2020 and an updated version on top of that at the end of this year. Last week, Marvell introduced the 5nm 800G PAM4 DSP. 800G with a 5nm DSP would consume about 13-14W of power in an optical module.

optical module power consumption comparison

Marvell says the power consumption of the 800G optical module can be reduced to 12W, but does not state the operating temperature of the TEC.

Performance has also been improved in terms of signal integrity. A single wave 100G can transmit 10km, and this is competitive. In the 2km-10km range of 800G, the industry has been in a torn state whether to use IM/DD or coherent.

If you use PAM4, earlier performance is not enough. If you use coherent, the price is more expensive and difficult to do and power consumption.

The design cost of 5nm chips is getting higher and higher. When optical modules first started with DSP, the process node 10 years ago was 65nm, with a design cost of $24 million. By the time the 7nm node was launched by each in 2020, the design cost was already up to about $250 million. Chips are a money-burning business and a competitive barrier to capital clamping technology.

The cost of 5nm chip design is about $ 450 million, the head effect is becoming more and more obvious. Manufacturers with small market shares gradually withdraw from the competition.

chip design cost

In addition to the increasing cost of design, the cost of OEM is also increasing. With the increase in market volume, the design cost will be reduced, and the price of the foundry that is the real material cost.

A 12-inch wafer, 65nm process node cost price is only $ 2,000. 7nm foundry price is as high as $ 9300, 5nm wafers are about $ 17,000 per piece. The chip is small, and the price of the process is high. The average chip price is difficult to continue to fall.

5nm chip, no longer pursue the price of a single chip down, it is good to still pursue a little low power consumption, which is to meet the key figure of whether the hot-swappable optical module can continue to 1.6T.

the price of 12 inch wafer

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