Low-power, long, thin, flexible, and light active optical cables are replacing copper cables in these latest high-speed applications. Silicon Line is playing a key role in this transition by providing ICs that enable the high-volume production of these new active optical cables.
A typical ultra-low power optical link using Silicon Line ICs 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 (photodiode) at the other end, which converts the light into an electrical signal that is then amplified by a TIA (trans-impedance amplifier) IC.
Silicon Line’s latest generation of high-speed optical products can transmit up to 64 Gbps of data with 100 Gbps on the way.
High-speed multi-Gbps optical links 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 does just that. Our patented MIPI D-PHY SerDes products can serialize up to 10 Gbps of video data from up to 18 wires down to just two thin copper wires or one optical fiber. This dramatically reduces the thickness and weight of the cable and enables longer cables. This is very attractive for endoscopes, drones, video conferencing, and security markets.