The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

Panel IV: Pluggable Optics – How is the Ecosystem and Value Chain Changing?

Wednesday, 22 March
15:30 - 17:00
Theater I

Frank Chang; Inphi Corporation, USA

Panel Description:

Large data centers interconnect bottlenecks are dominated by the switch I/O BW and the front panel BW as a result of pluggable transceiver modules. Recently 50G and beyond transceivers have been developed that significantly reduce power, footprint and cost for three major types of connections: intra- and inter-datacenter, transport client, and metro/access. The detailed designs of the pluggables, however, have many flavors such as: four-wave or four-fiber 28GBd NRZ, two-wave 28GBd PAM4, single-wave 56GBd PAM4, or single-wave DMT, and so on. At the same time, to overcome the front panel BW and the switch ASIC BW limitation one approach is to either move the optics onto the mid-plan or integrate the optics into the switch ASIC. There are many new MSAs in progress to be considered as well including CFP8, QSFP56, QSFP-DD, SFP56 and so on, or even chip on boards directly.
This panel of industry experts will strive to determine the potential winning technology from the wide variety of options as well as answer the following questions:

  • What’s the realistic price to expect for 100G pluggable to enable mass adoption?

  • Is the cost of a $1/Gb/s for high-speed transceivers ultimately achievable in foreseeable future and what will vendor margins look like?

  • How can the market serve a reach distance of 2km at one end and 40/80km at the other?

  • What are the lessons learned of deploying the PAM4 versus NRZ pluggables?

  • Will various demands of different types of data center operators be adequately accommodated with standardized vs. proprietary solutions?

  • When will a new 200 & 400G pluggable be commercialized and how much will it cost?

  • What’s the status of 100G coherent CFP2 and CFP4 pluggable modules?


Frank Chang; Inphi Corporation, USA (Moderator)
Bardia Pezeshki; CEO, Kaiam Corporation, USA 
Chris Pfistner; VP Product Line Management, Datacom, Lumentum, USA
David Piehler; Sr. Principal Engineer, Dell EMC, USA
Katharine Schmidtke;Optical Technology Strategy, Facebook, USA
Sorin Tibuleac; Director of System Architecture, ADVA Optical Networking, USA


Frank Chang; Inphi Corporation, USA (Moderator)

Frank Chang is an expert of photonic IC technologies and optical networks in research, development, and technology innovation. He currently is Principal Engineer - Optics at Inphi’s CTO Optics Office for Optics Interconnect since April 2013 after 11 years’ service at Vitesse Semiconductors. He leads the optical system engineering efforts for physical layer IC products involving high speed drivers, TIAs and PAM4 PHYs for various 100/400G optical applications. He has over 20 years of working experience in the optical networking and communication IC industry. Prior to Vitesse, he held various senior project, architectural and management positions at Cisco/Pirelli, Mahi Networks, and JDS Uniphase. He has authored or co-authored over 90 peer-reviewed journal and conference articles, 3 book chapters and given numerous invited talks in the field. In addition, he is currently the Industry Forum & Exhibit (IF&E) Co-chair for Globecom 2019 to be held in Hawaii. He was the IF&E chair to run the full industry program for Globecom 2015 in San Diego. He obtained his Ph.D. in Optoelectronics from the Ecole Polytechnique, University of Montreal, Canada for his research thesis on ultrashort optical pulse generation of 1550nm tunable solid-state lasers. He is Sr. Member of IEEE/LEOS and OSA.

Highly Integrated Hybrid Optical Engines: Combining PSM and CWDM for Lowest $/Gb

Bardia Pezeshki; CEO, Kaiam Corporation, USA 
Bardia Pezeshki is currently the CEO of Kaiam, a company focused on advanced multi-lane transceivers for data center interconnects.  Prior to Kaiam, Bardia was the CTO and VP of engineering of Santur Corp, developing tunable lasers for metro and long haul fiber optics.  Before starting these two companies, Bardia was managing the development of novel optical devices at SDL Inc and IBM’s T.J. Watson Research center.  He received his PhD from Stanford University with a thesis on vertical cavity optical devices.

The Road to 400G in Client-Side Optics

Chris Pfistner; VP Product Line Management, Datacom, Lumentum, USA

Chris Pfistner is Lumentum’s Vice President, Product Line Management, Datacom. Chris has over 20 years of experience in Marketing, Sales, and Product Line Management in the global fiber optic module and systems market. Prior to Lumentum, Chris held positions with Finisar, NeoPhotonics, Terawave, Advanced Fibre and Pirelli Optical Systems. Chris holds Ph.D. and MS. degrees in Applied Physics from the University of Berne, in Switzerland. He has authored over 25 international papers and presentations.

Optical Solutions for Enterprise Datacenters

David Piehler; Sr. Principal Engineer, Dell EMC, USA

David Piehler is Senior Principal Engineer for Dell EMC’s Networking business, where he focuses on inter- and intra-datacenter optical interconnects for the enterprise market. Previous positions include: Chief Scientist at NeoPhotonics, Vice President, Broadband Access Networks R+D at Harmonic Inc. and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mayfield Fund. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley for experimental work in nonlinear optics.

Optical Interconnects in Hyper-scale Data Center Networks

Katharine Schmidtke;Optical Technology Strategy, Facebook, USA

Katharine Schmidtke is responsible for Optical Technology strategy at Facebook. She obtained a Ph.D. in non-linear optics from Southampton University in the UK and completed post-doctoral research at Stanford University.  She has over 20 years’ experience in the Opto-Electronics industry including positions at New Focus, JDSU (now Lumentum), and Finisar Corporation.

Cost-effective DWDM transceivers for high capacity metro DCI connectivity

Sorin Tibuleac; Director of System Architecture, ADVA Optical Networking, USA

Sorin Tibuleac is Director of System Architecture at ADVA Optical Networking leads R&D activities in optical system design, which include research in optical fiber transmission, evaluation of new technologies, development of optical system specifications for ADVA’s DWDM system, and engineering rules for network deployments. Dr. Tibuleac graduated from the University of Bucharest, Romania with a Diploma in Applied Physics, and holds Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Arlington.  He has 17 years of experience in DWDM system design, has co-authored over 100 research papers, and 14 patents and patent applications.



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