The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

800G and Beyond: Will Coherent Prevail at Short-Reach Distances?


Takahito Tanimura, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Japan; Zhensheng Jia, CableLabs, USA; Timo Pfau, Acacia Communications Inc., USA


The Year 2020 is coherent optical technology’s 10th anniversary of being officially deployed in long haul applications. Technological advances in photonic integration, digital signal processing, and mixed signal and CMOS technology allowed to continually reduce cost, power consumption, and size. Today, coherent systems integrated in pluggable form factors dominate regional and metro networks. Significant progress has been made from industry organization bodies on short-reach coherent interfaces like the 400ZR standard from OIF, the P802.3ct standard from IEEE, or OpenROADM and CableLabs, which specify line-side 100G to 400G coherent interfaces for DCI and other metro and access aggregation applications, and for links as short as 20km. However, so far direct detection systems still dominate the intra-datacenter connections and links up to 10km - even at 400G - due to their lower cost and power consumption.

This workshop will explore if direct detection systems will be able to hold their ground in the very short reach application space, even when link speeds will increase to 800G, or if coherent interfaces will continue their expansion.

The workshop will be split into two sections. In the first part we will explore the views of datacenter operators, network providers, and system vendors on the requirements for 800G and beyond. What are the different use cases, required transmission distance, and minimum receiver sensitivity? Can direct detect systems achieve the required performance? Can coherent systems achieve sufficiently low cost and power consumption?

The second part of the workshop focuses on enabling technologies for 800G and beyond. System and component vendors as well as academia will outline which technologies might yield lowest cost components with sufficient performance, present novel architectures, and highlight technological challenges.

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