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Monday
May132019

Co-packaged optics to debut with 25.6 terabit switch chips

The second article in a series on co-packaged optics.

Part 2: Broadcom - a switch-chip vendor 

The hyperscalers require ever more switching capacity in their data centres to scale the applications they run. A hierarchy of connected switches fitted with optical interfaces is used to provide the pathways that link the tens of thousands of servers found in data centres.

Silicon vendors are responding to this need by doubling the capacity of their switch chips every two years. The largest switch chips have a 12.8-terabit capacity and the first 25.6-terabit devices are expected next year. This relentless pace, however, is one that the optical module makers are struggling to match. 

Source: Gazettabyte

“It is a problem for the optics industry,” says Robert Stone, Distinguished Engineer at leading switch chip player, Broadcom. “The cadence at which we can evolve silicon generally moves a lot faster than the optics guys can monetise a generation of investment, and then reinvest it.”

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May012019

Lumentum completes sale of certain datacom lines to CIG 

Brandon Collings, CTO of Lumentum, talks CIG, 400ZR and 400ZR+, COBO, co-packaged optics and why silicon photonics is not going to change the world.

 

Lumentum has completed the sale of part of its datacom product lines to design and manufacturing company, Cambridge Industries Group. 

The sale will lower the company's quarterly revenues by between $20 million to $25 million. Lumentum also said that it will stop selling datacom transceivers in the next year to 18 months.

Brandon CollingsThe move highlights how fierce competition and diminishing margins from the sale of client-side modules is causing optical component companies to rethink their strategies.

Lumentum’s focus is now to supply its photonic chips to the module makers, including CIG. “From a value-add point of view, there is a lot more value in selling those chips than the modules,” says Brandon Collings, CTO of Lumentum.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr162019

Macom readies its silicon photonics platform for 400G 

  • Macom has announced a laser-integrated photonic integrated circuit (L-PIC) for the 400G-FR4 standard 
  • The company is also working with GlobalFoundries to use the semiconductor foundry’s 300mm wafer silicon photonics process 

Vivek Rajgarhia (centre) being interviewed at OFC. Source: Macom.

Macom has detailed its latest silicon photonics chip to meet the upcoming demand for 400-gigabit interfaces within the data centre. 

The chip, a laser-integrated photonic integrated circuit (L-PIC), was unveiled at the OFC show held last month in San Diego. The L-PIC implements the transmitter circuitry for the 400G-FR4 2km interface standard.

Click to read more ...

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 ...

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