Optical Technology Provides The Solution

Low-cost, low-power, long, thin and light active optical cables are replacing copper cables in these latest high-speed consumer applications. Silicon Line is playing a key role in this transition by providing ICs and modules that make the high-volume production of these new active optical cables fast, easy and cost effective.

A typical ultra-low power 12 Gbps optical link using a Silicon Line IC is shown in the diagram below. The electrical-to-optical conversion is done by the VCSEL driver IC, which then controls the VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser). 850 nm wavelength light is sent by the VCSEL through an optical fiber and received by the PD (photo diode) at the other end, which converts the light into an electrical signal that is then amplified by a TIA (transimpedance amplifier) IC.

Silicon Line’s latest generation of high-speed products can transmit up to 90 Gbps of data over optical fibers.

High-speed multi-Gbps optical link offer many advantages over equivalent copper links. These include the ability to use longer and thinner cables, elimination of EMI, better signal integrity, smaller form factors for slimmer product designs, better mechanical properties (e.g., bendability), lower power consumption, and lighter weight.

And That’s Not All – Thin and Light Cables Enabled by Silicon Line Serdes Technology

Another way to reduce cable thickness and weight is to reduce the number of wires in the cable, and Silicon Line’s Serdes technology can just do that. Our patented MIPI D-PHY serdes can serialize up to 10 Gbps of video data in 10 cables down to just two thin copper wires or one optical fiber alternatively. This dramatically reduces the thickness and weight of the cable, and makes the cable longer. This is very attractive to the disposable endoscope and automotive markets.