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Silicon Photonics

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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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Ciena post-MEN

Ciena has been busy since completing the acquisition of Nortel’s Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business back in March.


“The 40G and 100G technology were key to the deal and we made sure that the core team was still there”


Tom Mock, Ciena




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Infinera PICs 100Gbps coherent 

What is being announced?

Infinera is expediting its product plans, basing its optical transmission roadmap on coherent detection.

The company plans to launch a 100Gbps coherent transmission system in 2012. The design will be based on a pair of 5x100Gbps ultra-long-haul photonic integrated circuit (PIC) chips to enable its systems to deliver 8 terabits-per-second (Tbps) over a fibre.


“This change in roadmap is because of the successful development of our 100G coherent ASIC programme, and we have integrated five 100Gbps coherent channels onto one card.”

Drew Perkins, Infinera

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40Gbps, 100Gbps and beyond mind map

A mind map of the 40Gbps, 100Gbps and beyond high-speed optical transmission market to accompany the three-part April 2010 feature.



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Optical transmission beyond 100Gbps

Briefing: High-speed optical transmission. 

Part 3: What's next?

Given the 100 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) optical transmission market is only expected to take off from 2013, addressing what comes next seems premature. Yet operators and system vendors have been discussing just this issue for at least six months.

And while it is far too early to talk of industry consensus, all agree that optical transmission is becoming increasingly complex. As Karen Liu, vice president, components and video technologies at market research firm Ovum, observed at OFC 2010, bandwidth on the fibre is no longer plentiful.


“We need to keep a very close eye that we are not creating more problems than we are solving.”

Brandon Collings, JDS Uniphase.

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Is a datacom and telecom mini-boom taking place? 

A reader commented that both semiconductor and optical transceiver lead-times are being extended and that the “good times are here”.  But what is the cause, he asked, and are good times really here?

Daryl Inniss believes it is largely a reflection of cutbacks that have run their course. “The industry cut back swiftly and deeply when the market started to tank, cutting suppliers and capacity,” says Inniss, practice leader, components at market research firm Ovum.


“I think it's recovery dynamics - people ordering a tiny bit more and there are no parts available such that lead-times are stretching out simulating a boom.”

Brad Smith, LightCounting

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40 and 100Gbps: Growth assured yet uncertainty remains 

Briefing: High-speed optical transmission.

Part 2: 40 and 100Gbps optical transmission

The market for 40 and 100 Gigabit-per-second optical transmission is set to grow over the next five years at a rate unmatched by any other optical networking segment.  Such growth may excite the industry but vendors have tough decisions to make as to how best to pursue the opportunity.

Market research firm Ovum forecasts that the wide area network (WAN) dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) market for 40 and 100 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) linecards will have a 79% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) till 2014.

In turn, 40 and 100Gbps transponder volumes will grow even faster, at 100% CAGR till 2015, while revenues from 40 and 100Gbps transponder sale will have a 65% CAGR during the same period.

Yet with such rude growth comes uncertainty.


“We upgraded to 40Gbps because we believe – we are certain, in fact – that across the router and backbone it [40Gbps technology] is cheaper”

Jim King, AT&T Labs.


Systems, transponder and component vendors all have to decide what next-generation modulation schemes to pursue for 40Gbps to complement the now established differential phase-shift keying (DPSK). There are also questions regarding the cost of the different modulation options, while vendors must assess what impact 100Gbps will have on the 40Gbps market and when the 100Gbps market will take off.  

“What is clear to us is how muddled the picture is,” says Matt Traverso, senior manager, technical marketing at Opnext.

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