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Silicon Photonics

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Entries in Coriant (8)


Elenion's coherent and fibre-to-the-server plans

  • Elenion’s coherent chip - an integrated modulator-receiver assembly - is now generally available. 
  • The company has a silicon photonics design library that includes over 1,000 elements. 
  • Elenion is also developing an optical engine for client-side interfaces.

Elenion Technologies has given an update on its activities and strategy after announcing itself eight months ago. The silicon photonics-based specialist is backed by private equity firm, Marlin Equity Partners, which also owns systems vendor, Coriant. Elenion had already been active for two and a half years and shipping product when it emerged from its state of secrecy last December

Larry SchwerinElenion has since announced it is selling its telecom product, a coherent transceiver PIC, to Coriant and now other companies.

It has also progressed its optical engine design for the data centre that will soon be a product. Elenion has been working with Ethernet switch chip maker, Cavium, and data centre player, Microsoft, as part of its datacom work.

“We have moved forward,” says Larry Schwerin, the CEO of Elenion.

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The Open ROADM MSA adds new capabilities in Release 2.0

The Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) for open reconfigurable add-drop multiplexers (ROADM) group expects to publish its second release in the coming months. The latest MSA specifications extend optical reach by including line amplification and adds support for flexible grid and lower-speed tributaries with OTN switching.

Xavier PougnardThe Open ROADM MSA, set up by AT&T, Ciena, Fujitsu and Nokia, is promoting interoperability between vendors’ ROADMs by specifying open interfaces for their control using software-defined networking (SDN) technology. Now, one year on, the MSA has 10 members, equally split between operators and systems vendors.

Orange joined the Open ROADM MSA last July and says it shares AT&T’s view that optical networks lack openness given the proprietary features of the vendors’ systems.

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Elenion unveiled as a silicon photonics PIC company

  •  Elenion Technologies is making silicon photonics-based photonic integrated circuits
  •  The company has been active for two and a half years and has products already deployed  

A privately-owned silicon photonics company that is already shipping products has dropped its state of secrecy to announce itself. Elenion Technologies is owned by Marlin Equity Partners, the investment firm that also owns systems vendor, Coriant.

“We are in the [optical] engine business,” says Larry Schwerin, CEO of Elenion Technologies. “We are developing a platform leveraging silicon photonics but we have other capabilities.” 

Larry SchwerinElenion’s expertise includes indium phosphide, radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), packaging, and driver and control electronics circuit design. The RFIC expertise suggests the company also plans to address the mobility market.  

The company will detail its first products prior to the OFC show next March.

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TIP seeks to shake up the telecom marketplace 

The telecom industry has long recognised the benefits of the Internet content providers' data-centre work practices. It has led to the operators starting to embrace software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) technology whereby telecom functions that previously required custom hardware are executed as software on servers.

 Niall Robinson

Now, ten telcos, systems vendors, component and other players have joined Facebook as part of the Telecom Infra Project, or TIP, to bring the benefits of open-source design and white-box platforms to telecoms. TIP has over 300 members and has seven ongoing projects across three network segments of focus: access, backhaul, and core and management. 

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Coriant's 134 terabit data centre interconnect platform

Coriant is the latest optical networking equipment maker to unveil a data centre interconnect product. The company claims its Groove G30 platform is the industry’s highest capacity, most power efficient design. 

“We have several customers that have either purpose-built data centre interconnect networks or have data centre interconnect as a key application riding on top of their metro or long-haul networks,” says Jean-Charles Fahmyvice president of cloud and data centre at Coriant.


Jean-Charles Fahmy

Each card in the platform is one rack unit (1RU) high and has a total capacity of 3.2 terabit-per-second, while the full G30 rack supports 42 such cards for a total platform capacity of 134 terabits. The G30's power consumption equates to 0.45W-per-gigabit.

The card supports up to 1.6 terabit line-side capacity and up to 1.6 terabit of client side interfaces. The card can hold eight silicon photonics-based CFP2-ACO (analogue coherent optics) line-side pluggables. For the client-side optics, 16, 100 gigabit QSFP28 modules can be used or 20 QSFP+ modules that support 40 or 4x10 gigabit rates.

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The quiet period of silicon photonics 

Michael Hochberg discusses his book on silicon photonics and the status of the technology. Hochberg is director of R&D at Coriant's Advanced Technology Group. Previously he has been an Associate Professor at the University of Delaware and at the National University of Singapore. He was also a director at the Optoelectronic Systems Integration in Silicon (OpSIS) foundry, and was a co-founder of silicon photonics start-up, Luxtera.


Part 2: An R&D perspective

If you are going to write a book on silicon photonics, you might as well make it different. That is the goal of Michael Hochberg and co-author Lukas Chrostowski, who have published a book on the topic.

Michael HochbergHochberg says there is no shortage of excellent theoretical textbooks and titles that survey the latest silicon photonics research. Instead, the authors set themselves the goal of creating a design manual to help spur a new generation of designers.

The book aims to provide designers with all the necessary tools and know-how to develop silicon photonics circuits without needing to be specialists in optics.

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Coriant adds optical control to SDN framework

Coriant's CTO, Uwe Fischer, explains its Intelligent Optical Control and how the system will complement Transport SDN.


"You either master all that complexity at once, or you find the right entry point and provide value for each concrete challenge, and extend step-by-step from there" 

Uwe Fischer, CTO of Coriant

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