Inphi’s 100G DWDM Solution for Data Center Interconnects

COLORZ® Enables 4Tb/s of Aggregate Bandwidth per fiber in a QSFP28 Form Factor while Dramatically Lowering Power and Cost

Inphi ColorZ

Data Center Connectivity

Inphi’s state-of-the-art COLORZ® reference design is the industry’s first Silicon Photonics PAM4 platform solution for Data Center Interconnects (DCI) in a QSFP28 form factor. COLORZ® allows multiple regional data centers to be connected and act like a single virtual one. COLORZ® provides the missing link that enables end-to-end 100G Ethernet connectivity throughout the Cloud and helps in realizing Inphi’s vision of "The Cloud is the Network™"



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TCO report on COLORZ®


Faceplate Density

The growth of social networking, cloud computing, e-commerce and big data is driving bandwidth demand between data centers. This is motivating cloud operators to deploy high-density, low latency and low power DWDM links to connect multiple data centers or content delivery networks within a regional access area. COLORZ® enables to provide up to 3.6Tb/s of capacity from a standard 1RU faceplate, increasing the density by 7.5x as compared to 10G DWDM solutions using a SFP+ form factor. Bringing cloud content closer to the user will also enable new services and an enhanced user experience.

Inphi ColorZ
Inphi ColorZ

Fiber Capacity

COLORZ® enables a capacity of 4Tb/s per fiber providing the spectral efficiency required for DCIs. COLORZ® increases the spectral efficiency 5x as compared to alternate equivalent solutions using traditional 10Gb/s DWDM pluggable optics.

Low Power Consumption

COLORZ® enables the user to meet the power envelope of a QSFP28 form factor. In addition, and as compared to alternate module level solutions, COLORZ® offers significant power savings resulting in at least a 5x reduction in power dissipation and electricity cost. When taking into account a complete system implementation the power benefits are even more significant.

Inphi ColorZ
Inphi ColorZ

Link Distance

Regional data center geographical distribution is often limited by latency requirements to ensure an optimal user experience for Cloud based services. This is the fastest growing segment in the Metro Ethernet space and an 80km link distance is typically sufficient to provide complete network connectivity. COLORZ® was designed to allow multiple data centers located up to 80km of each other to be connected and act like a single virtual data center. Furthermore, the link budget also enables regional connectivity in either a mesh or hub configuration.

100GHz Super Channel

COLORZ® combines PAM4 modulation into two wavelengths resulting in a 100G DWDM super channel spaced on a 100GHz ITU Grid. This enables to use standard passive network multiplexing equipment for the line side transmission.

Inphi ColorZ
Inphi ColorZ

Platform Solution

Leveraging Inphi’s leadership in PAM DSP technology, Linear Drivers and TIAs, the COLORZ® reference design was optimized to fit in a QSFP28 hot pluggable form factor. The hot-swappable device plugs into any QSFP28 100G Ethernet port of any standard switch or router and also offers enhanced monitoring and link diagnostic capabilities. Ultimately, COLORZ® enables enterprise, service providers and cloud operators to provide scalable and easy-to-deploy 100G Ethernet services in their networks.

DWDM System Requirements

The primary consideration in amplified DWDM systems is Optical Signal to Noise Ratio (OSNR). Using a super channel PAM4 modulation format combined with Inphi’s advanced Forward Error Correction (FEC) technology, COLORZ® enables to exceed the minimum OSNR requirements of such 80km links for which standard off-the-shelf amplification equipment can be used.

Inphi ColorZ

Inphi Announces Commercial Availability and Production Ramp for COLORZ®