Marvell Rolls Out 1.6T Ethernet PHY with 100G PAM4 I/Os In 5nm|

Photo Marvell Alaska C PHY
The brand-new Marvell Alaska C PHY is designed to pace up the transition to 100G serial interconnects

Marvell has recently rolled out 1.6 Ethernet PHY with 100G PAM4 electrical input/outputs (I/Os) in 5nm for cloud data centers. The transition to 1.6T (terabits per second) in the Ethernet backbone is due to the growing demand for high bandwidth in the data center to aid in massive growth.

100G serial I/Os is an essential part of the cloud infrastructure that helps in moving data across compute, storage and networking in a power-efficient manner. The brand-new Marvell Alaska C PHY is designed to pace up the transition to 100G serial interconnects and provide 2X bandwidth speeds of the predecessors of PHYs to bring scalability for performance-critical cloud workloads and applications such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Marvell’s 1.6T Ethernet PHY

Marvell’s 1.6T Ethernet PHY solution would permit next-generation 100G serial-based 400G and 800G Ethernet links for high-density switches. Signal integrity challenges are created due to the doubling of the signaling rate, encouraging the requirement for retimer devices for high port count switch designs. Gearboxes and retimers used for these applications must be highly power efficient. The Marvell 800GbE PHY would offer “40% savings” in I/O power as compared to the 50G PAM4 based I/Os.

Marvell’s 88X93160 is claimed to be the industry’s first PHY device that is completely compatible with IEEE’s 802.3ck standards for 200G serial I/Os and the Ethernet Technology Consortium’s 800GbE specifications. Gearbox functionality is also supported by the device and it helps data center operators get the full bandwidth capabilities of the switch ASICs along with 100G serial I/Os while being connected with the still in use 50G PAM4 based 400G optical modules.

Photo Achyut Shah, senior vice president and general manager of Marvell’s PHY business unit
“Data center demand for 400GbE and beyond is experiencing exponential growth,” said Achyut Shah, senior vice president and general manager of Marvell’s PHY business unit.

Marvell is trying to have a stronghold in the gearbox and high-speed retimer segment by adding the new PHY to its portfolio. It offers speeds from 10GbE to 800GbE and also extends support to MACsec encryption and Class C compliant IEEE1588 PTP timestamping. The brand-new 88X93160 authorizes customers to create systems that comply with the latest IEEE and Ethernet Technology Consortium standards with the support for Ethernet speeds up to 800GbE.

The Marvell 1.6T PHY includes the 112G 5nm SerDes solution which came into existence in November 2020. The solution would offer “breathtaking” performance with the ability to operate 112G PAM4 over channels with more than 40dB insertion loss. As per the company, the 112G 5nm SerDes technology will be designed in Marvell’s Prestera switch portfolio across the enterprise, carrier segments, and data center. The technology has also been used by multiple customers of Marvell’s 5nm ASIC and it provides high-performance infrastructure applications over a variety of markets.

Senior Vice President’s Take

Senior vice president and general manager, Marvell’s PHY business unit, Achyut Shah, said that data center demand for 400GbE is witnessing exponential growth. Shad further said that Marvell is proud to provide the industry’s first dual 1.6T PHY with 100G PAM4 I/Os designed cloud for data centers. He concluded by saying that the 112G SerDes in 5nm boosts the value of cloud data center applications provided by high-speed Ethernet.


The Marvell 1.6T Ethernet PHY is in the sampling phase as of now to shortlist customers. All other details regarding the product and its availability can be obtained from the official product page of Ethernet PHYs.