Pluggable Coherent Technologies and Applications: Where are We and Where Will We Land in 5 years?

Sunday, 06 June 08:00 – 10:30


Antonio Eira, Infinera, Portugal
Andreas Matiss, Corning, Germany
Xiaoxia Wu, SpaceX, USA


The market for coherent pluggable optics has been evolving rapidly over the past few years from CFP form factor for metro/long-haul applications to various form factors supporting reaches from 10 km to 2000+ km for much broader applications, such as telco metro-access, router-to-router interconnects, point-to-point data center interconnect, mobile and cable aggregation applications. Multiple standardization activities on coherent interfaces have been ongoing, with special emphasis on the 400ZR project at OIF defining a digital coherent interface primarily for DCI applications, which is expected to see large-scale adoption starting in 2021. The application space for coherent pluggables is expanding as well, with the potential to cover scenarios ranging from intra-data center, 5G front/mid/back-haul to free space optical communication etc. 
In this workshop, industry experts from network/DC operators, system vendors, and module manufacturers will review recent progress in terms of network deployment requirements/schedule, interoperability, DSP/photonics technology and development status, and share their views of the coherent pluggable technology and applications in the next few years. Some key aspects to be addressed in this workshop include but not limited to the following:

  • What are some of the key challenges and perspectives on 800G and beyond low power/cost coherent optics for intra-DC applications?
  • What are some of the key aspects and trade-offs of 800G/1.6T ZR?
  • Where are the application boundaries for ZR+ type pluggables? How far can it get in long-haul and spectrum-constrained scenarios?
  • How far can ZR+ go in trading off performance for footprint? What are the key DSP development design trade-offs concerning power consumption?
  • What does pluggable coherent mean for stand-alone transport boxes, and where will pluggable DWDM optics be placed for DC operators and carriers?


The workshop will be divided in two sessions. The first panel is dedicated to discussion on coherent pluggable technology, featuring industry participants involved in the development of new pluggable coherent solutions. The second session will feature speakers from operators and ICPs, which will discuss their vision on coherent pluggable applications over the next few years.

Opening Talk:

Chris Doerr, Doerr Consulting, USA

Technology Session:

Wupen Yuen, Neophotonics, USA

Patricia Bower, Ciena, USA

Osamu Ishida, NTT, Japan

Dave Welch, Infinera, USA

Applications Session:

Andreas Bechtolsheim, Arista Networks, USA

Cedric Lam, Google, USA

Jianqiang Li, Kuaishou, China

Matthew Schmitt, CableLabs, USA