& cplSiteName &

Meeting the 100G Metro Price Challenge

Carolyn Mathas
News Analysis
Carolyn Mathas
4/25/2014
50%
50%

What will spur data center/cloud operators to implement 100G metro connections? The cost of metro links will have to plummet, and there's good reason to believe it won't take that long.

According to Siddharth Sheth, VP of Networking Interconnect at communications chip vendor Inphi Corp. , "industry targets are that the cost will have to be down into the $2-to-$3 per Gbit/s range. Coherent 100G will move to the metro, but it could still be too costly for cloud operators in this application. While coherent technology will enable metro connections beyond 100km, cloud operators are looking for links of less than 100km at a low cost, and there's the challenge."

Approaches to enabling lower-cost sub-100km coherent connections include stripping the bells and whistles off existing solutions, or finding the right trade-offs between what happens in optics versus what gets done in electronics. There's historical precedence for this type of evolution: SFP+, for example, is a high-volume and popular data center optical connectivity solution, with tens of millions of modules shipped annually.

Looking at 10G client optics, for example, the industry evolved from 300-pin MSA, to XENPAK, to X2, XFP, to SFP+, and in transition the optics matured and solutions were less dependent on the electronics. Sucked out of the optics, electronics moved upstream into the system, where they were integrated into larger CMOS ASICs, driving down the total cost of solutions. Winners along the way were the companies that understood the implications of the transitions, and those that could exploit the DSP-based technologies that enabled them.

"The transitions will be similar with 100G," said Sheth. "Cheap does not mean less, it means more optimal architectural and technology tradeoffs and better design partitioning between electronics and optics. Greater feature complexity in electronics will enable lower-cost optics, which will lead to a much lower-cost solution. Features such as DSPs and ADCs with low latency, [and] FEC technologies that deliver the right gain will help achieve $2-to-$3 per Gbit/s 100G cloud optical links," he said.

The most important component advances for data center use in the context of 100G optical links are: advances in higher order modulation (HOM); DSP and FEC technologies on electronics; greater integration and stacking; and innovative packaging techniques on the optics. Silicon photonics will have a big role in moving towards lower-cost 100G links, as it exploits more mainstream process and packaging flows, and better integrates optics and electronics, driving down costs.

MSA consolidation will also be necessary to avoid market fragmentation. Since cloud operators exist in a closed ecosystem, they don't need to interoperate with the outside world, but can use their volumes to drive certain MSA success. The market can, in effect, decide who wins the 100G cloud optical link battle. And the winning solution, according to Inphi, will be the one that offers a reasonably priced (in terms of $ per Gbit/s) module in a QSFP28 form factor optimized for single-mode fiber connections of 500 meters to 2km, probably with 2016 volume production.

It's no surprise that Inphi, which boosted its annual revenues by 12.6% to $102.7 million in 2013, believes it can meet these criteria, developing products based on its own optical elements (drivers and amplifiers) and electronics (SerDes, CDR, ADC/DSP, FEC).

But of course, it's not the only components company with an eye on the 100G metro market. (See Acacia Communications Ships Industry's First Pluggable Coherent 100G CFP Module.)

— Carolyn Mathas, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Is Cable One Beefing Up for Slaughter?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 1/20/2017
Google Security Lessons for IT
Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, 1/18/2017
Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/19/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.