SAN FRANCISCO — OFC 2014 — Imagine: products that actually are on the shelf, can be bought, plugged in, tested, and carry real-world traffic today.
I'm at OFC and I’m a bit weary of hearing about 400G here on the show floor. Concepts, prototypes, and 400G products for sampling are in abundance. What's missing are clear visions of what will happen and when. And of course, there are some who doubt whether 400G will happen at all. (See Going Beyond 100G? Not So Fast…)
Imagine the sheer joy when Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (Nasdaq: MXIM) and a handful of others announced -- are you ready for this? -- 10G products, right here in Golden Gate City!
Rather than just get excited about its super-fast future, Maxim continues to improve its 10G products and dares to feature and talk about them as well.
Stacey McKinney, Maxim's strategic marketing manager for wired communications, called 10G technology such as its MAX3956 10GBASE-LR SFP+ optical transceiver IC (integrated circuit) "the life blood of customers. There is still plenty of room to reduce cost, power, and integrate at 10G, and that's where the market is."
Maxim's 11.3-Gbit/s transceiver with digital monitors and DC-coupled laser driver is the newest family member in the company's portfolio of laser transceiver ICs. According to McKinney, the device solves the long-standing tradeoff between high performance and power consumption typically made by optical module designers. The new product's integration list includes: programmable transmit input equalization; receive output de-emphasis; digital diagnostics monitoring (DDM); and accurate analog monitors. The vendor also claims low levels of jitter at both the receiver and transmitter.
Also announcing 10G products this week were:
- Avago Technologies Pte. , which announced a new range of optical engines for backhaul and Metro Ethernet. Combining high performance and lower power consumption, the optical engines are designed for integration into XFP and SFP+ transceiver modules for high-volume 4G LTE backhaul and 10G metro Ethernet access network applications.
- Oclaro Inc. (Nasdaq: OCLR) also got in on the 10G act, announcing a 10G wideband tunable SFP+ module using an Indium Phosphide (InP) laser platform. The key feature being promoted by Oclaro is that the module uses less than 1.5W of power consumption, even at high operating temperatures Oclaro. The module, claims the vendor, has leading edge OSNR (Optical Signal-To-Noise Ratio) performance at 60% reduced power consumption and half the form factor size than existing tunable XFPs.
- Aliathon Technology's 10G multi-powerAnyMapper is, according to the company, a flexible and future-proof ASSP (application-specific standard product) chip for 10G access/metro/core products that supports many ports, protocols and mappings. The solution targets high-density line cards and Ethernet access products.
There's little doubt that, at some point, 400G will become a reality in production networks, even if only in a limited way. Right now, though, it seems to make sense to bypass the hype and focus more on what is real and ready to deploy.
— Carolyn Mathas, contributing editor, special to Light Reading