Companies coming from an optical background typically are less familiar with complex modulation schemes such as PAM, and may consider it less technical viable. The group also takes costs and broad market adoption into consideration.
Ironically, Intel Corp. has not made any presentations to the group despite making a big splash recently by sampling 4x25G silicon photonics products based on a decade of research. It has only sent one engineer to the meetings so far, and that person did not attend on more than half of the meeting days.
Cisco is working on silicon photonics using 2.5-D chip stacks, said the head of Cisco’s transceiver group, speaking at DesignCon. Startups Kotura and Luxtra shared their plans separately to field 4x25G silicon photonics in 2014.
All four players hope to drive down 100G costs for a range of switches and other products. The meetings have drawn participants from a broad range of service, system and component vendors including Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom, HP, Juniper, Microsoft and a range of startups.
"The entire industry is investing to bring the cost of optics down, and when that happens we can get to products with multiple 100G ports," said Siddharth Sheth, vice president of marketing at Inphi Corp., speaking on a panel at the Linley Group event here this week.
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