5 March 2012

OFS, IBM and Emcore demo record 120Gb/s transmission over 100m on single multimode fiber

Fiber-optic network product maker OFS of Norcross (near Atlanta), GA, USA (which is owned by Furukawa Electric) has announced record transmission of 120Gb/s over 100m across a single strand of multimode fiber.

The joint demonstration was enabled by a seven-core laser-optimized multimode fiber made with OFS LaserWave fiber technology interfaced with custom-designed transceivers from IBM Research of Yorktown Heights, NY, using custom vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and photodiodes made by Emcore of Albuquerque, NM, USA. The demo exceeded both the previous transmission length record by 60m and the previous data rate record by 50%.

“This demonstration illustrates the viability of multicore multimode fiber as a transmission medium for next-generation high-performance computer networks,” says Dr Durgesh S. Vaidya, OFS’ senior manager of R&D. “With advanced light sources such as the Emcore custom arrays, systems designers will be able to achieve the extremely high transmission speeds predicted for future networks while increasing cable density with the opportunity for reducing packaging costs,” he adds.

The OFS fiber consists of seven graded-index multimode cores in a hexagonal array. Each of the six outer cores transmits at 20Gb/s over 100m using Emcore two-dimensional arrays of VCSELs and vertically illuminated photodiodes, fabricated in a commercial process, with a geometry corresponding to the outer six cores of the fiber. The fiber’s 26µm core size is directly compatible with the photodiodes needed for 25Gb/s (20–30µm diameter). The 20Gb/s VCSELs were flip-chip packaged on an IBM-designed transceiver package with 130nm CMOS ICs, and the full link was characterized by IBM Research with all six channels running error-free simultaneously.

OFS believes that the additional bandwidth density provided by the multicore fiber link over standard multimode links will help to enable efficient next-generation high-performance computers and datacenters, while the larger core sizes compared with single-mode fiber solutions help to keep packaging costs sustainable.

“The expected increase in demand for optical fiber cable in these applications will result in significant network design challenges,” Vaidya says. “While bandwidth requirements continue to grow, network managers face considerable constraints on power and cost budgets, not to mention the physical space required by the fiber cabling,” he adds. “Increasing the bandwidth available on each fiber is a critical step in developing optical interconnects for future networks, not only for high-performance computing but also for data centers, another key growth market for optical fiber.”

OFS is exhibiting in booth 2125 at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC 2012) in Los Angeles, CA, USA (4-8 March).

Tags: IBM Emcore 120Gb/s transmission

Visit: www.emcore.com

Visit: www.ofsoptics.com

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