Figure 12 Energy Efficiency of Modern Communication Technologies
The trends in wireline communications today follow several seemingly conflicting paths. On one hand, there is a strong demand for transceivers that are highly-optimized for low power consumption for use with relatively low-loss channels. Simultaneously, there is a similarly strong demand for transceivers that, while still energy efficient, are optimized to provide signal levels and equalization capabilities that allow for communication over adverse channel conditions at speeds previously deemed impossible. At ISSCC 2011, papers in three sessions [Session 8, Session 20, Session 25] described a number of results that address these issues.
New applications are emerging, such as Internet multi-player gaming, network-based computing/data-storage, transaction-intensive Web 2.0 applications, and high-definition home- entertainment networks. The enabling technologies for these applications are high-performance transceivers for OC-768 (40Gb/s), 100Gb/s Ethernet, and high-speed “green” serial links for data centers. The demands of these applications will drive the advancement in equalization capability and robust-adaptation methodology. Additionally, the deployment of Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) in the near future will provide home-access data rates beyond 10Gb/s. PON technology reduces system cost by sharing the existing fiber infrastructure between multiple customers, but challenges transceiver designers by requiring burst-mode operation of amplifiers, and clock recovery with low latency at Gb/s data rates. We expect continuing innovation in this area for the foreseeable future.