The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

Will Coherent Optics Become a Reality for Intra-data Center Applications?

Sunday, March 3, 2019
1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Room number: 6F


​Fred Bucahli, Nokia Bell Labs, Germany; Ken Jackson, Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations, USA 


Mega-scale data-centers for cloud-based applications drive the need for ever higher bandwidth networks, particularly within the data-center.  Optical fiber interconnects play a key role in the realization of these networks providing high data throughputs at relatively low energy and cost per bit over distances that are typically less than 2km.  Thus far these optical interconnects have been deployed using intensity modulated, direct detect (IMDD) technologies.  Coherent technologies, where the phase of the optical carrier provides higher signal-to-noise ratios, have been used since 2010 for long-haul communications at data rates of 100Gb/s and beyond.   In the near future, with the demand for even higher data throughputs, can the IMDD approaches satisfy this need?  Will there be opportunities for coherent technologies?  This topic has been discussed previously with many experts believing that short reach coherent technology based links are still many years away.  This workshop will review recent developments and reexamine the outlook for coherent technologies.

Some of the topics to be explored in this workshop:

  • Evolution of datacenters. Which bitrates and distances are required today and in the future?
  • What has been standardized or currently under standardization?  Are all systems utilized in DCs standardized?
  • What are the requirements or corner figures in terms of power consumption, form factors, bitrates, and latency?
  • How does direct detect approaches compare to coherent ones---reach, power budget.
  • Are there alternative transponder architectures to implement coherent?
  • What technologies will yield lowest cost components?  Integrated SiPh has been demonstrated and further implementations may be based on MMI couplers instead of full 90° hybrids.
  • How do the different market segments view coherent?  Data Center operators’ view, Access providers’ view, Transponder/transceiver  Vendors’ and Academia’s view.

Jingchi Cheng, Alibaba Group, China
Chris Cole, Finisar, USA
Joseph Kahn, Stanford University, USA
Eric Maniloff, Ciena, Canada
David Plant, McGill University, Canada
Benn Thomsen, Microsoft Corp., UK
Ioannis Tomkos, AIT, Greece
Winston Way, Neophotonics, USA
Xiang Zhou, Google, USA

Sponsored by: