Transport networks have only just evolved to 100G speeds and yet the need to move to 400G is already not just apparent but critical for some network operators. Some of the companies falling into that category are so desperate for any increment in capacity they're willing to move to 200G, even if it is a technological place holder that might be obsolete in a couple of years.
The data center market has a completely different cost structure that leads to different technological requirements; one of the few overlaps is the need for more capacity. Data centers are growing in number, size and traffic so fast that any of the largest data center operators can warp vast segments of the components market just by itself.
Components vendors are navigating choppy waters; the winds of change have been blowing steadily, and they look to sustain for some time. With requirements that can vary from application to application (let alone customer to customer), there is tremendous pressure for the largest vendors to create comprehensive product lines, and for the smaller vendors to innovate furiously (sometimes to supply their larger brethren).
The winner of the Leading Lights Outstanding Components Vendor will be announced at the Leading Lights awards dinner, which will be held during the evening of Monday, May 23, at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas, ahead of the Big Communications Event May 24-25 at the Austin Convention Center.
Here's a closer look at our finalists:
Lumentum Holdings Inc. introduced a series of innovations, including a high-speed dual-channel coherent receiver that addresses coherent optical networking applications; a new SFP+ that adds features and boasts low power dissipation required for high-density applications found at the network edge; and a new optical whitebox platform supporting an ecosystem enabling SDN within data center and metro/edge DWDM transport. The initial products include a family of configurable rack-mountable optical whiteboxes: terminal amplifier, line amplifier, mux/demux and ROADM.
This year the company launched a comprehensive portfolio of 25/50/100GbE products that includes switches, server adapters and cables. Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX) is helping cloud networks evolve through Open Composable Networks (OCN) architecture, which leverages network disaggregation, open and unified abstraction interfaces and automated orchestration and management to achieve the flexibility to compose and recompose software-defined infrastructures to meet the needs of cloud-native and enterprise workloads.
Mellanox recently purchased EZChip, with the intention of developing what the company is calling intelligent interconnect for data centers. Mellanox has always curried a high-end pedigree; intelligent interconnect would have the potential to improve high performance computing (HPC) applications in data centers.
The company keyed on support for 100G, 400G and beyond optical transport across multiple network segments, including long haul, metro and data center interconnects (DCI). New coherent components and modules include a CFP2-ACO module which features NeoPhotonics Corp. (NYSE: NPTN)'s high-performance components inside, enabling the ACO modules to meet the highest specifications in the industry.
The company also demonstrated a new 45 Gbaud Integrated Coherent Receiver in a single wavelength 400G Datacenter Interconnect link utilizing a DP-32QAM configuration; this configuration can also be used for 200G transmission over long haul reaches with 45 Gbaud DP-8QAM and 300G transmission over metro reaches with 45 Gbaud DP-16QAM. For client and intra-datacenter applications, NeoPhotonics added 100G QSFP28 modules, among other products.
— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading