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22 January 2019

Applied Optoelectronics sampling 400G silicon photonics optical module

Applied Optoelectronics Inc (AOI) of Sugar Land, TX, USA – a designer and manufacturer of optical components, modules and equipment for fiber access networks in the Internet data-center, cable TV broadband, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and telecom markets – has announced customer sample availability of 400G optical modules based on silicon photonics technology.

The modules are designed to demonstrate the feasibility of applying AOI’s silicon photonics platform to the requirements of on-board optics (OBO), as outlined in specifications such as the recently released version 1.1 of the onboard optical module specification published by the Consortium for Onboard Optics (COBO), of which AOI is an active member.

In contrast to traditional pluggable optical modules, OBO modules are designed to be used in higher-speed data switches, with interface speeds ranging from 400Gbps to 1.6Tbps. By designing the optical modules to be mated directly to a circuit board within such a switch, the OBO modules enable an increase in the density of optical interfaces to the switch, which in turn enables greater data throughput through the switch fabric, while also simplifying cooling and electrical interfaces (two areas where traditional pluggable modules have increasing difficulty as interface speeds increase).

AOI’s sample OBO modules are specifically designed for customers developing next-generation switches for large data centers, as these switches gradually evolve from 100Gbps interconnects to 400Gpbs, and higher. The modules currently leverage new silicon-based optical technology to support 16 optical channels with a total data throughput of 400Gbps. Future versions of the device are expected to leverage the same silicon photonics technology, but increase the bandwidth up to 100Gbps per optical channel, ultimately enabling 1.6Tbps of data throughput over a single OBO module. In turn, this would enable next-generation 12.8Tbps switches to utilize only 8 optical modules, significantly improving density and reducing power consumption compared with a similar solution, which would require 32 400Gbps pluggable modules.

“We gathered very positive feedback while demonstrating early 16-channel OBO prototypes at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Rome last year,” notes David Chen, assistant VP of Transceiver Technology. “This OBO module incorporates several new technologies, including an advanced silicon photonics-based optical sub-assembly, which are the culmination of years of R&D effort by AOI and our technology partners. We believe that this platform will enable solutions well beyond 400Gbps, and eventually, 1.6Tbps,” he adds.

“AOI has made significant progress on the development of OBO modules since the publication of revision 1.0 of COBO’s specification,” comments Brad Booth, president of the Consortium for On-Board Optics. “AOI’s ability to sample OBO modules after their ECOC demonstration of an OBO prototype shows their commitment to bringing alternative solutions for the next generation of networking equipment,” he adds. “Having a single module footprint that supports bandwidth scaling from 400Gbps to 1.6Tbps provides flexibility to equipment vendors.”

Tags:  Optical transceivers

Visit:  www.ao-inc.com

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