Repackaging, something of an art form, is also a viable approach to business because it can save cost or create new ventures. These themes were touched upon during a special symposium at OFC 2015 on Wednesday, which focused on how packaging and integration may be used to dramatically reduce the cost of traditional “gold box” optical modules for different applications in the network.
Ian Betty of Ciena opened the session by talking about the historic industry trend of getting more throughput from the same optical components, comparing pluggable optics to board-mounted optics and talking about where we are today and where we may be tomorrow.
He predicted that pluggable line-side modem architecture where the front-end optical solution is included—digital coherent (DCO) as opposed to analogue coherent (ACO)—has been and will continue to be niche architecture for coherent solutions.
He went on to talk about pluggable ACO, the new technology of today. He predicted that it would grow in deployment as at least three vendors would achieve full production capability in 2015.
Turning to the far future, he said that though the initial market pricing of CFP2-ACO has initially been high, it should improve. Cost is dominated by volume and yield, he added, but improvements to both of these in the future will impact cost.
Finally he talked about CFP4-ACOs and warned against the dangers of jumping on that bandwagon for the sake of riding the wave that is trending. "My advice here is don't just do CFP4-ACO because it's next," he said. "You could get in trouble or you could make yourself poor."
Lessons Learned from the First to the Market
Rob Griffin of Oclaro, Inc., the first company to get to market with the CFP2-ACO, was next to speak. He predicted that the technology will be widely adopted as 100G continues to grow.
"The CFP2 isn't, perhaps the solution for everybody, but there certainly is a lot of traction in the industry—it has a lot of momentum," he said.
He touched on the advantages of the technology and then turned to its manufacture—showing a picture of the pilot-line assembly in the U.K. He also talked about some of the challenges—for instance thermal management. "There needs to be good engineering at all levels to hit the target of 12W for these modules," he said.
What's in the Box
Another speaker, Thomas Duthel of Cisco Systems, Inc., spoke about architecture, and in particular component technologies for small form-factor pluggable modules. He started out showing a graph that compared indium phosphide versus silicon photonics versus LiNbO3.
He touched upon calibration and the challenge of guaranteeing system performance given the separation of DSP and optics, which creates a lousy analogue interface. He also talked about the promise of pluggable components, which he said would lower cost, allow installation on demand and enable higher face plate densities.
Posted: 25 March 2015 by
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