MaxLinear’s New 56Gbps Driver and TIA ICs Reduce Power, Size and Cost for Next-Generation 100Gbps / 400Gbps Optical Modules

  • High-performance trans-impedance amplifiers and modulator drivers cut in half the number of lasers and photo detectors needed for 100Gbps / 400Gbps optical transmission modules

MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL), a leading provider of integrated radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for broadband communications applications, announced a new family of 56Gbps transmission ICs that cut in half the number of optical channels needed in optical transmission modules, reducing power consumption, size and cost for 100Gbps and 400Gbps network operators.

The company’s new ICs include the MxL9108, a 56Gbps limiting trans-impedance amplifier, and two new 56Gbps modulator drivers, the MxL9204 and MxL9205. The ultra-wide bandwidths of the TIA and drivers enable non-return-to-zero (NRZ) signaling at 56Gbps. NRZ modulation eliminates the need for DSP and linear components that are required for more complex modulation techniques, simplifying optical transceiver implementation and reducing cost.

When compared to 28Gbps alternatives, these new devices will halve the number of optical channels (from four to two) needed to support 100Gbps line rates, reducing size, cost and power draw of optical transmission modules.

In 400Gbps applications, the MxL9204 and MxL9205 drivers coupled with CWDM transmission optical subassemblies, and the MxL9108 coupled with high-performance photo diodes, combine to deliver low-power, cost-effective modules that support this performance requirement.

The new components will be on display at OFC 2015 (March 24-26; booth 1968) and they are the first new ICs from the former Physpeed Co. Ltd., which MaxLinear acquired in November 2014.

As 100Gbps networks move to wider market adoption, cost, board size and power consumption become critical design functions, and the new MxL9108 and MxL9204 and MxL9205 offer advantages in all of this due to their industry leading performance and design,” said Will Torgerson, Global Sales Vice President for MaxLinear. “Our high-speed interconnect offering spans 10Gbps, 40Gbps, and 100Gbps solutions representing one of the industry’s broadest optical interconnect portfolios. The devices announced today expand this offering to include 400Gbps and demonstrate MaxLinear’s commitment to deliver best-in-class solutions to the market.”

Technical Highlights

The MxL9108 features an internal feedback loop for single-ended to differential signal conversion and output decision threshold adjustment. The integrated differential linear amplifier has >37GHz bandwidth and supports NRZ data rates of up to 56Gbps.

The MxL9204 and MxL9205 are high-performance 56Gbps modulator driver ICs. The MxL9204 is designed to drive externally modulated lasers (EMLs) and MxL9205 is optimized for driving InP MZ modulators or Si-Photonic-based optical modulators.

Both ICs have on-chip input 50W terminations and can be driven single-ended or differentially. The modulator drivers have duty cycle control, output amplitude control and output DC level adjustment. The single-ended output amplitude of the MxL9204 can be adjusted up to a maximum of 2.5Vpp (into 50Ω load) and the MxL9205 can support differential output amplitudes of up to 5Vpp. No external bias-T is required at data outputs. The MxL9204/ MxL9205 are available in die form.


All three 56Gbps parts are sampling now, with general availability planned for July 2015. For more product information, contact MaxLinear sales team at

About MaxLinear, Inc.

MaxLinear, Inc. is a leading provider of radio-frequency and mixed-signal semiconductor solutions for broadband communications applications. MaxLinear is headquartered in Carlsbad, California.  For more information, please visit

MxL, Full-Spectrum Capture, FSC and the MaxLinear logo are trademarks of MaxLinear, Inc. Other trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Cautionary Note About Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements concerning or implying future financial performance or trends and growth opportunities affecting MaxLinear, in particular statements relating to the introduction of a new family of 56 Gbps transmission ICs including MxL9108, MxL9204, and MxL9205, future market adoption of 100Gbps networks, and the timing for the general availability of the 56 Gbps transmission ICs. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. We cannot predict whether or to what extent we will realize revenues from the introduction of MxL9108, MxL9204, and MxL9205. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current, preliminary expectations and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including (among others) intense competition in our industry; the ability of our customers to cancel or reduce orders; uncertainties concerning how end user markets for our products will develop; our lack of long-term supply contracts and dependence on limited sources of supply; potential decreases in average selling prices for our products; currently pending intellectual property litigation; and the potential for additional intellectual property litigation, which is prevalent in our industry. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, investors should review the risks and uncertainties contained in MaxLinear’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including risks and uncertainties identified in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 (including Amendment No. 1 thereto) and in our recently filed Registration Statement on Form S-4. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. MaxLinear is providing this information as of the date of this release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
MaxLinear, Inc. Press Contact:
Debbie Brandenburg
Tel: +1 669-265-6083
MaxLinear Inc. Corporate Contact:
Will Torgerson
Tel: +1 760-692-0711