AES Semigas


8 June 2021

CW-WDM MSA releases spec for multi-wavelength optical laser sources

The CW-WDM MSA (Continuous-Wave Wavelength Division Multiplexing Multi-Source Agreement) Group, which is dedicated to defining and promoting specifications for multi-wavelength advanced integrated optics, has released its first official specification for 8-, 16- and 32-wavelength optical sources.

The CW-WDM MSA was formed in mid-2020 to standardize WDM CW sources in the O-band for emerging advanced integrated optics applications that are expected to move to 8, 16 and 32 wavelengths.

The MSA defines laser sources covering three spans in the O-band wavelength grids. Higher wavelength counts are needed for emerging applications such as silicon photonics (SiPh)-based high-density co-packaged optics, optical computing, and machine learning/artificial intelligence (AI), and enable a leap in performance, efficiency, cost and bandwidth scaling compared with previous technology generations. Each wavelength grid is defined with enough technical detail to ensure interoperability across the range of applications. The MSA also outlines measurement methods required for standards compliance.

“The CW-WDM MSA just published an 8-, 16- and 32-wavelength O-band laser source standard for use in optical transceivers for emerging advanced datacom applications,” says MSA chair Chris Cole. “Laser sources are the critical component in optical communications and having an agreed set of grids creates great opportunities for transceiver and laser suppliers to develop innovative products.”

Key features of the MSA specifications are as follows:

  • frequency assignments for 8-, 16- and 32-wavelength grid configurations with multiple grid spacings;
  • two physical configurations, including a modular optical source with each output port carrying a single wavelength, and an integrated optical source with each output port carrying all the wavelengths;
  • a range of output power classes targeting applications that require very low and very high output levels;
  • definitions of optical parameters and measurement methods, including relative intensity noise, side-mode suppression ratio (SMSR), and linewidth; and
  • fixed and flexible wavelength grid configurations to support deployment in a variety of environmental conditions.

Promoter members of the CW-WDM MSA are Arista Networks, Ayar Labs, II-VI Inc, imec, Intel Corp, Lumentum, Luminous Computing, MACOM, Quintessent, Sivers Photonics, and Sumitomo Electric.

See related items:

CW-WDM MSA Group forms to drive industry standard for laser sources

Tags: Optical communications