Multi-Gbit PHY Devices Fabricated on Power-Conserving 5nm Process

22 August 2023

The Alaska M 3610 series of single-port multi-Gbit copper Ethernet PHY chips from Marvell are the first to be based on the company’s ground-breaking 5nm semiconductor platform.

Dropping down to such a small process node has enabled high bandwidth operation (up to 10Gbps) to be maintained while at the same time allowing acute reductions in power consumption (drawing half the power that the company’s previous generation devices called for, at under 1W). Their use will mean that network infrastructure will be able to run with greater efficiency, plus less space and cost will need to be allocated to thermal management (such as heat sinking and fans). For security purposes, each PHY incorporates a IEEE 802.1AE 256-bit hardware-based link-layer media access control (MACsec) unit, thereby providing flexible encryption against denial-of-service and man-in-the-middle attacks. Among the key uses for these new devices will be within the backhaul links of Wi-Fi 7 deployments. 

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