Marvell today announced a new portfolio of 800G products. First, the company announced a new Orion DSP designed for 800G modules. Second, it announced the new Marvell COLORZ 800G ZR/ZR+ module line for longer-reach high-speed connectivity.
Marvell COLORZ 800G Module and Orion DSP for Next-Gen Networks
After the Marvell-Inphi deal the company now has an expanded portfolio of both products it makes for others to embed or for Marvell to use for its direct customers. One example of that is the new Marvell Orion DSP. Inside an optical module, one needs to convert electrical signals from a switch, NIC, or other device into patterns of light, in the right wavelengths and modulations to travel over an optical cable. That is the task of the DSP in optics, and Marvell Orion is designed for the 800G networks.
Marvell has the new Orion DSP for ZR/ ZR+ modules. With the higher power modules, they can have a reach of up to 2000km. That is roughly San Francisco California to Denver Colorado along I-80 going through Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming along the way.
Marvell says those 2000km modules are designed for telco 400G networks. The 800G side is more in the 500km max reach range.
Marvell has two business models with Orion. One is to sell to other module makers. The second is to go direct with its own modules to companies like hyper-scalers. That is the new Marvell COLORZ 800. The COLORZ 800 800G module (why did they not just put “G” in the name?) is Marvell’s module that utilizes Orion and turns it into a QSFP-DD or OSFP form factor pluggable.
The reason Marvell is doing this is to lower costs for hyper-scalers that can start deploying longer-reach 800Gbps networking between data centers.
Marvell says COLORZ 800 is coming in OSFP and QSFP-DD form factors. While you can get adapters, it is a total pain as you may have seen in our A Look at the FS N9510-64D A 64x 400GbE Switch piece.
Inside the modules, we can see the Orion DSP converting the electronic signal to optics using a silicon photonics piece.
While 800G gear is expensive, it is just starting to get broader adoption to where it will become less costly soon. These 800G modules can be similar or closer in power while delivering 2x the throughput. They also enable 800G switches which can mean smaller networking radix in some cases.
800G is happening and 1.6T will follow. Networking is moving at a fast pace these days.
We still have not gotten to try an 800G switch yet. Hopefully one of these days. After our 400G NIC and switch experience, we just hope it is a lot easier. For Marvell, selling the DSP and selling the entire module is interesting since it means it is in some ways competing with its DSP customers when it sells the entire module.