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Silicon Photonics

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Thursday
Apr042019

Acacia bets on silicon as coherent enters its next phase

Gazettabyte interviewed Acacia Communications’ president and CEO, Murugesan ‘Raj’ Shanmugaraj, as the coherent technology company celebrates its 10th anniversary.


Acacia Communications has come a long way since Raj Shanmugaraj (pictured) first joined the company as CEO in early 2010. “It was just a few conference rooms and we didn't have enough chairs,” he says.

The company has since become a major optical coherent player with revenues of $340 million in 2018; revenues that would have been higher but for the four-month trade ban imposed by the US on Chinese equipment maker ZTE, an Acacia customer.

And as the market for coherent technology continues to grow, Acacia and other players are preparing for new opportunities. 

“We are still in the early stages of the disruption," says Shanmugaraj. “You will see higher performance [coherent systems] in some parts of the network but there is going to be growth as coherent moves closer to the network edge.” 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr012019

Data centre interconnect drives coherent

  • NeoPhotonics announced at OFC a high-speed modulator and intradyne coherent receiver (ICR) that support an 800-gigabit wavelength
  • It also announced limited availability of its nano integrable tunable laser assembly (nano-ITLA)  and demonstrated its pico-ITLA, an even more compact silicon photonics-based laser assembly
  • The company also showcased a CFP2-DCO pluggable

NeoPhotonics unveiled several coherent optical transmission technologies at the OFC conference and exhibition held in San Diego last month.

Ferris Lipscomb“There are two [industry] thrusts going on right now: 400ZR and data centre interconnect pizza boxes going to even higher gigabits per wavelengths,” says Ferris Lipscomb, vice president of marketing at NeoPhotonics.

The 400ZR is an interoperable 400-gigabit coherent interface developed by the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF).

Optical module makers are developing 400ZR solutions that fit within the client-side QSFP-DD and OSFP pluggable form factors, first samples of which are expected by year-end.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar212019

OFC interview regarding silicon photonics and our book 

ADVA Optical Networking's Gareth Spence interviewed Daryl Inniss, director, new business development at OFS, and me at the OFC conference and exhibition held earlier this month in San Diego, California. We were interviewed regarding the status of silicon photonics and our book on the topic.

Click here for the interview.  

Wednesday
Feb272019

Inphi adds a laser driver to its 100-gigabit PAM-4 DSP 

Inphi has detailed its second-generation Porrima chip family for 100-gigabit single-wavelength optical module designs.

Source: Inphi

The Porrima family of devices is targeted at the 400G DR4 and 400G FR4 specifications as well as 100-gigabit module designs that use 100-gigabit 4-level pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM-4). Indeed, the two module types can be combined when a 400-gigabit pluggable such as a QSFP-DD or an OSFP is used in breakout mode to feed four 100-gigabit modules using such form factors as the QSFP, uQSFP or SFP-DD.

The Gen2 family has been launched a year after the company first announced the Porrima. The original 400-gigabit and 100-gigabit Porrima designs each have three ICs: a PAM-4 digital signal processor (DSP), a trans-impedance amplifier (TIA) and a laser-driver. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb212019

Ayar Labs prepares for the era of co-packaged optics 

The first of two articles on co-packaged optics.

Part 1: Ayar Labs

Ayar Labs is readying its co-packaged optics technology for scaled production in the second half of 2020. So says CEO Charlie Wuischpard who joined the start-up in late 2018 after it secured $24 million in funding to bring its products to market.

Co-packaged optics refers to the intimate coupling of optics with an ASIC in one package. Such tightly-coupled optics promises to overcome the growing system challenges associated with linking an ASIC’s high-speed signals to pluggable optics residing on a platform’s faceplate.

Charlie Wuischpard Wuischpard joined Ayar Labs from Intel where he led the supercomputing segment within the company’s data centre group. Wuischpard also led Intel’s disaggregated rack initiative.

“In both these, silicon photonics plays a huge role in enabling future architectures and future designs,” he says.

Ayar Labs raised its funding after demonstrating successfully its optical designs: a silicon-photonics optical chiplet, dubbed Teraphy, and its Supernova external laser source. 

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Friday
Feb152019

Richard Wilson

An important part of my career as a journalist was spent at the UK newspaper, Electronics Weekly.

The editor at the time was Richard Wilson. For several years I sat opposite him; despite having an office, Richard worked with us all. It was an exciting time to be covering the chip industry and we all worked hard. Richard was a wonderful boss and a great conversationalist.

I remember his joy the day after the Labour Party won the UK election in 1997 and he described how he had not slept watching the results come in (and the following day was a news day!)

He was a lovely, gentle man. I often wondered what he was doing at Electronics Weekly. He was a talented journalist and loved the complexities of the electronics industry but he had many interests and talents that were not given expression in that environment.

Electronics Weekly wasn’t always an easy workplace but I look back at those years and think it was the most vibrant place I’ve worked at. The place was filled with characters and Richard added to the pleasure of being there.

I think of Richard with huge fondness and am grateful to have known him. I last saw him in 2003 but despite the elapsed time, I feel his loss deeply.

Tuesday
Feb052019

A voyage around work

The first in a series looking at the experience of work in 2019.

Source: Mark Seery

To land your ideal job, the suggestion is first to find your passion. Indeed, one college in the US promises to guide its students to find their life purpose by teaching them three things: what they are good at, what they are passionate about, and what the world needs.

Assuming you are lucky enough to align all three elements, challenges are still likely. How do you maintain a work-life balance? And what happens over time when, despite having fulfilling, challenging work, part of your creative self remains untapped?

This has been the experience of Mark Seery (pictured below), who was a senior staff member at Juniper Networks, responsible for helping shape the networking company’s strategy.

Click to read more ...