SAN JOSE, Calif. – This year’s OFC/NFOEC will be a 100G party with new kinds of transceivers and processors competing to drive fast core networking into the market at the lowest costs and power consumption possible.
Kotura will pack its 4x25G silicon photonics transceiver in a quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP) package consuming 3.5W, claiming it is the only module supporting wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) to do so. Many others will show 100G modules using the CFP2 or other packages. And many transceivers will compete for the 4x25G goal using other physical-layer approaches.
Separately, Applied Micro Circuits Corp. and PMC-Sierra Inc. will announce competing processors geared to handle 100G data flows. For its part, Broadcom Corp. will show integrated optical devices for data rates up to 120G, including a low power, long haul 100G transmitter.
As many as 11 companies will participate in a demo of the 4x25G version of 100G hosted by the Optical Internetworking Forum, using a variety of modules including both CFP2 and QSFP28. Participants include Altera, Broadcom, Finisar, Fujitsu, Inphi, Luxtera, Molex, Oclaro, Semtech, Xilinx and Yamaichi Electronics using test gear from Agilent and Tektronix.
The industry has been shipping for some time relatively expensive, power-hungry100G products based on ten 10G links. The big push now is to reduce space and power with products that use bundles of four of the latest 25G links.
The 100G links have a variety of uses in core carrier networks and inside data centers, both hungry for more bandwidth to keep up with the mobile Web boom. According to one market watcher, 100G Ethernet transceiver sales are expected to grow from $144 million in 2012 to almost $700 million in 2017.
“Explosive packet traffic growth projected from cloud services, residential broadband, and mobile backhaul is driving China Mobile to invest in scaling up our optical transport network to support 100G,” said Bill Huang, general manager of the R&D group at China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier.
Speaking in a press statement from PMC-Sierra, Huang called for support for the Optical Transport Network (OTN) standard for packet processing over optical nets. “To maximize our 100G investment, we need OTN solutions…so we can economically deploy 100G and OTN switching on a wide scale,” he said.
The 100G components are coming. OFC/NFOEC “will be an opportunity to see real, working, production-ready 100G optics,” said Chris Cole of Finisair, part of the group backing the CFP2 modules.
Looking to the future, AT&T will present a paper at the event on its work sending 400G signals over its 100 GHz optical network. A separate IEEE group is already starting work on a 400G version of Ethernet.
Kotura's 100G QFSP module is likely to raise some eyebrows.