As optical transceiver MSA (Multi Source Agreements) evolve, designers will be faced with the task of adapting previous designs to meet the new requirements. This coupled with the pressure of achieving the shortest time-to-market requires flexibility in all areas of the design.

While there are ASICs on the market today that implement the diagnostics in a fixed function IC, these do not give the designer the flexibility to adapt designs to changing MSA requirements, but a precision analog microcontroller incorporating an ARM7TDMI core offers the flexibility and power required to address changing MSA requirements.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 3, No. 2