7 March 2022
Acacia launches 400G QSFP-DD pluggable coherent optical modules that further expand transceiver applications
Acacia Communications Inc of Maynard, MA, USA (now part of Cisco) — which develops and manufactures high-speed coherent optical interconnect products — is adding to its portfolio of 400G coherent pluggable solutions, based on its Greylock 7nm digital signal processor (DSP), with the new Bright 400ZR+ and ER1 400G pluggable coherent optical modules.
Early adopters of Acacia’s 400G pluggable product family have been driving strong demand that has resulted in over 50,000 port shipments, with more than 20,000 shipped during Cisco’s fiscal second-quarter (ending 29 January). The aggressive ramp of these products has been faster than any previous coherent technology generation, says the firm. Early demand has been driven largely by metro data-center interconnect (DCI) use cases, but service providers are actively working to deploy this technology in a wide range of applications. With the new modules, Acacia has developed a portfolio of solutions that further address the varying needs of network operators, while driving economies of scale on a common technology platform.
The 400G coherent pluggable market is one of the most important developments in optical networking currently, says Acacia. Analysts such as Cignal AI have stated that sales of 400ZR and OpenZR+ are ramping rapidly, while Heavy Reading’s Sterling Perrin claims that “The advent of coherent pluggable optics at 400G is one of the key enablers that was needed to propel IP and optical integration into the mainstream.”
New modules expand 400G QSFP-DD applications and reduce cost, power consumption and network complexity
The Bright 400ZR+ QSFP-DD pluggable coherent optical module with high optical performance is designed for seamless deployment in reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) line systems.
For customers primarily targeting filtered (AWG-based DWDM) point-to-point applications, the 400ZR and OpenZR+ modules are an effective pluggable solution. Acacia’s Bright QSFP-DD module is designed to expand the applications for this technology by addressing a variety of ROADM architectures such as those with colorless multiplexing. With greater than 0dBm transmit optical power and high transmit optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR), the Bright 400ZR+ gives network operators more flexibility to address a range of brownfield and greenfield applications utilizing the high-density QSFP-DD form factor.
“Colt has successfully deployed 400G ZR+ on our IQ Network packet router backbone. High-launch-power 400G ZR+ optics would be an important step change for IPoDWDM deployments,” comments Danny Pinto, associate director, Packet Networks Engineering at Colt. “This would enable IPoDWDM uses cases in meeting optical requirements of ROADM-based optical solutions and brownfield deployments,” he adds.
The Bright 400ZR+ QSFP-DD module also supports OTN framing that can enable circuit emulation and pseudowire functionality over packet networks, offering even greater flexibility for network operators who want to deploy this pluggable technology.
“Products like Acacia’s high-transmission-power QSFP-DD modules and third-party vendor-agnostic SDN could open the door for deeper packet and optical integration in telco networks,” says Juan Pedro Fernandez-Palacios, head of Transport at Telefonica CTIO.
For upgrading from 100G to 400G with 40km reach
The 400G ER1 QSFP-DD pluggable coherent optical module has a rich feature set including client multiplexing and interoperability based on both OIF and OpenZR+ protocols. Acacia’s ER1 400G module is reckoned to be a cost effective and flexible solution for unamplified 40km point-to-point applications in access, campus and 5G network applications.
Leveraging proven expertise
Acacia says that, to develop its new 400G QSFP-DD modules, it leveraged its proven expertise in optical integration and packaging. The firm’s expertise with high-performance silicon photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and low-power DSPs has helped to enable the introduction of 3D Siliconization. Acacia’s 3D Siliconization applies integration and 3D stacking techniques to enable a single device that includes all the high-speed optoelectronic functions necessary for coherent communications. This device, which includes the DSP, photonic integrated circuitry, drivers and transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs), is manufactured using standard electronics packaging processes. Advantages of 3D Siliconization include the reduction of electrical interconnects while improving signal integrity, resulting in improvements in performance, cost, reliability, power and size.