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Silicon Photonics

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Ten years gone: Optical components after the boom

Vladimir Kozlov has been covering the optical components industry as an analyst since the optical boom of 2000. Here he reflects on the industry over the last decade.


Average gross margin by industry. Source: LightCounting

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ROADMs: reconfigurable but still not agile

Briefing: Dynamic optical networks

Part 2: Wavelength provisioning and network restoration

How are operators using reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADMs) in their networks? And just how often are their networks reconfigured? gazettabyte spoke to AT&T and Verizon Business.

Operators rarely make grand statements about new developments or talk in terms that could be mistaken for hyperbole. 

“You create new paths; the network is never finished”

Glenn Wellbrock, Verizon Business

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Still some way to go

Briefing: Dynamic optical networking 

Part 1: The vision .... back in 2000

I came across this article (below) on the intelligent all-optical network. I wrote it in 2000 while working at the EMAP magazine, Communications Week International, later to become Total Telecom.

What is striking is just how much of the vision of a dynamic photonic layer is still to be realised.  Back then it had also been discussed for over a decade. And bandwidth management, like in 2000, is still largely at the electrical layer.

And yet much progress has been made in networking technology. But the way the network has evolved means that a more flexible photonic layer, while wanted by operators, is only one aspect of the network optimisation they seek to reduce the cost of transporting bits.

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ASICs and digital signal processing heat up the optical marketplace

Guest blog on Lightwave magazine, click here


Oclaro: R&D key for growth 

Alain Couder, Oclaro’s CEO, explains why he is upbeat about the photonics market and optical networking in particular.


“We didn’t sell to Intel,” explains Alain Couder, the boss of Oclaro. “Intel looked for a fab[rication plant] that has good VCSEL technology and that could scale and they found us.”  

Couder was talking about how Oclaro became a supplier of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for Intel’s Light Peak optical cable interface technology. VCSELs are part of Oclaro’s Advanced Photonics Solutions, a division addressing non-telecom markets accounting for between 10 and 15 percent of the company’s revenues.

“I believe very clearly that if a component is available on the market, even if you are a module builder, you are much better off selling to your competition rather than having others do so.”

Alain Couder, Oclaro

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Alcatel-Lucent reveals its 100Gbps-coherent hand


It would be irresponsible of any system vendor to overlook a solution that can bring a cost advantage to their customer”


Sam Bucci, Alcatel-Lucent



What is being announced?

  • Alcatel-Lucent has a commercially available 100Gbps optical transmission system.
  • 40Gbps coherent transmission is also supported.

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The InfiniBand roadmap gets redrawn

The InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) has announced a new roadmap for the low latency bi-directional link. What was Eight Data Rate InfiniBand will now be known as Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) and be upgraded from 20Gbps to 26Gbps per channel. EDR will deliver a 104Gbps data rate in a four-channel InfiniBand (4x) implementation and 312Gbps when used as a 12-channel (12x) interface.


“We can already demonstrate in silicon a 30Gbps transmitter."

Marek Tlalka, Luxtera





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