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Friday
Oct192018

Pilot Photonics makes a one terabit coherent comb source 

Pilot Photonics has produced a four-wavelength laser chip for one-terabit coherent transmissions. 

It is one of several applications the Irish start-up is pursuing using its optical comb source that produces multiple tunable outputs, the equivalent of a laser array.   

The company is using its laser technology and photonic integration expertise to address Next Generation Passive Optical Network 2 (NG-PON2), coherent long-haul transmission, and non-telecom applications such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and sensing.

Frank Smyth (right)

“We have a number of chips reaching maturity and we are transitioning from an R&D-focussed company to early commercial activity,” says Frank Smyth, CEO of Pilot Photonics. 

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Sunday
Oct142018

Finisar demonstrates its first silicon photonics transceiver  

  • Finisar unveiled its first silicon photonics-based product, a 400-gigabit QSFP-DD DR4 module, at the recent ECOC event.
  • The company also showed transceiver technology that simplifies the setting up of dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) links.
  • Two 200-gigabit QSFP56 client-side modules and an extended reach 30km 400-gigabit eLR8 were also demonstrated by Finisar. 
  • A 64-gigabaud integrated tunable transmitter and receiver assembly (ITTRA) was used to send a 400-gigabit coherent wavelength.  

Finisar is bringing to market its first silicon photonics-based optical module. 

Christian UrricarietThe 400GBASE-DR4 is an IEEE 500m-reach 400-gigabit parallel fibre standard based on four fibres, each carrying a 100-gigabit 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-4) signal. Finisar’s DR4 is integrated into a QSFP-DD module. 

“The DR4 is the 400-gigabit interface that most of the hyperscale cloud players are interested in first,” says Christian Urricariet, senior director of global marketing at Finisar.

The company demonstrated the module at the recent European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC), held in Rome.  

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Friday
Oct122018

Ciena to sell its own coherent modules

The systems vendor is expanding its offerings to include WaveLogic modem chips and coherent optical modules.

Ciena is developing its own coherent modules to sell to the telecom and datacom markets. 

The system vendor has set up the Optical Microsystems Division business unit to promote its WaveLogic coherent modem technology to the marketplace. Until now it has licensed its WaveLogic Ai digital signal processor (DSP) to module makers Lumentum, NeoPhotonics and Oclaro. But now it is planning to sell its own coherent modules.

In a job advert for a head of sales channel development, Ciena says the Optical Microsystems Division's goal is ‘to develop and productize electro-optic components and modules for sale to global systems integrator customers to be incorporated in their products for sale to telecom and data network customers’.

And at the recent European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) held in Rome, a network equipment manufacturer said it was approached by Ciena enquiring if it was interested in buying coherent modules from the company.

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Friday
Oct052018

PCI Express back on track with latest specifications 

Richard Solomon and Scott Knowlton are waiting for me in the lobby of a well-known Tel-Aviv hotel overseeing the sunlit Mediterranean Sea.  

Richard SolomonSolomon, vice chair of the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG), and Knowlton, its marketing working group co-chair, are visiting Israel to deliver a training event addressing the PCI Express (PCIe) high-speed serial bus standard. 

With over 750 member companies, PCI-SIG conducts several training events around the world each year. The locations are chosen where there is a concentration of companies and engineers undertaking PCIe designs. “These are chip, board and systems architects,” says Solomon. 

PCI-SIG has hit its stride after a prolonged quiet period. The group completed the PCIe 4.0 standard in 2017, seven years after it launched PCIe 3.0. The PCIe 4.0 doubles the serial bus speed and with the advent of PCIe 5.0, it will double again.

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Friday
Oct052018

Adding an extra dimension to ROADM designs  

U.K. start-up ROADMap Systems, a developer of wavelength-selective switch technology, has completed a second round of funding. The amount is undisclosed but the start-up is believed to have raised several million dollars to date.

Karl HeeksThe company will use the funding to develop a prototype of its two-dimensional (2D) optical beam-steering technique to integrate 24 wavelength-selective switches (WSSes) within a single platform.

The WSS is a key building block used within reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADMs).

The company’s WSS technology uses liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) technology, the basis of existing WSS designs from the likes of Finisar and Lumentum. However, the start-up has developed a way to steer beams in 2D whereas current WSSes operate in a single dimension only.

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Wednesday
Sep262018

Intel targets 5G fronthaul with a 100G CWDM4 module  

  • Intel announced at ECOC that it is sampling a 10km extended temperature range 100-gigabit CWDM4 optical module for 5G fronthaul. 
  • Another announced pluggable module pursued by Intel is the 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) parallel fibre DR4 standard.
  • Intel, a backer of the CWDM8 MSA, says the 8-wavelength 400-gigabit module will not be in production before 2020.

Intel has expanded its portfolio of silicon photonics-based optical modules to address 5G mobile fronthaul and 400GbE.

Robert BlumAt the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) being held in Rome this week, Intel announced it is sampling a 100-gigabit CWDM4 module in a QSFP form factor for wireless fronthaul applications.

The CWDM4 module has an extended temperature range, -20°C to +85°C, and a 10km reach.

“The final samples are available now and [the product] will go into production in the first quarter of 2019,” says Robert Blum, director of strategic marketing and business development at Intel’s silicon photonics product division.

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Monday
Sep242018

NeoPhotonics ups the baud rate for line and client optics  

  • Neophotonics’ 64 gigabaud optical components are now being designed into optical transmission systems. The components enable up to 600 gigabits per wavelength and 1.2 terabits using a dual-wavelength transponder.    
  • The company’s high-end transponder that uses Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai coherent digital signal processor (DSP) is now shipping.  
  • NeoPhotonic is also showcasing its 53 gigabaud components for client-side pluggable optics capable of 100-gigabit wavelengths at the current European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) show being held in Rome.  

NeoPhotonics says its family of 64 gigabaud (Gbaud) optical components are being incorporated within next-generation optical transmission platforms. 

Ferris LipscombThe 64Gbaud components include a micro intradyne coherent receiver (micro-ICR), a micro integrable tunable laser assembly (micro-ITLA) and a coherent driver modulator (CDM).

The micro-ICR and micro-ITLA are the Optical Internetworking Forum’s (OIF) specification, while the CDM is currently being specified.   

“Three major customers have selected to use all three [64Gbaud components] and several others are using a subset of those,” says Ferris Lipscomb, vice president of marketing at NeoPhotonics.

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