Optical components

More Tunable XFPs Start Shipping

As expected, tunable XFPs are starting to arrive from more and more vendors.

The year started with Emcore Corp. (Nasdaq: EMKR) and JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) being the only two vendors offering the modules, but now, others are at least claiming to be joining in. They mostly saved their news for this week's ECOC Exhibition in Geneva.

To review: These are pluggable 10Gbit/s modules with tunable lasers. They can be used as tunable substitutes for the XFPs used in metro networks today, but more dramatically, they can eventually replace 300-pin transponders. Because the XFPs are much smaller, there are big gains to be had in port density and power savings, if the performance can match that of the 300-pin devices. (See Who Makes What: Tunable XFPs.) Here's a brief update.

  • Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) has started shipping its tunable XFPs, after being just on the verge of shipments at the beginning of the month.

    "We met some very aggressive targets for our tunable XFP program, and we're ramping that product very heavily now. We've got some design wins," Rafik Ward, Finisar's vice president of marketing, tells Light Reading.

    On its first-quarter earnings call Sept. 2, Finisar had announced its tunable XFPs were qualified at OEM customers. The real ramp-up is just getting started, though. As CEO Jerry Rawls told investors: "Our tunable XFP is a little slower in terms of production volumes than we expected. All of these qualifications -- it's like waiting for the baby to be born. It's taken longer than we thought." (See Finisar Reports Q1.)

  • Prior to ECOC, Oclaro Inc. (Nasdaq: OCLR) announced shipment of its tunable XFP, claiming it's got the first zero-chirp device to match the performance of a 300-pin transponder. (See Oclaro Shows Zero-Chirp Tunable XFP.)

    One key to getting the right performance is a high extinction ratio, says Per Hansen, Oclaro's vice president of product marketing. "Extinction ratio" measures how effectively a wavelength can be shut off; because "on" and "off" are literally the difference between a 1 and a 0, it's a pretty important metric.

  • Opnext Inc. (Nasdaq: OPXT) announced and demonstrated its tunable XFP at ECOC, in zero chirp and negative chirp forms. Opnext is targeting early 2012 for production volumes, which matches earlier timetables but would keep the company a few months behind the competition. (See Opnext Does 100G, Tunable XFP.)

  • Menara Networks didn't have any ECOC news that we caught; we just wanted to note that we haven't forgotten the former Leading Lights winner. At the end of August, Omnitron Systems Technology Inc. announced it's using Menara's modules in a 10Gbit/s media converter.

    — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

  • Opticality 12/5/2012 | 4:52:47 PM
    re: More Tunable XFPs Start Shipping

    Good to see, optical news on Lightreading!

    Yes this is sarcasm, but after a week of announcement and minor optical drama at ECOC, it's good to see that there is still some Light to be Read here :)

    Ok, going back to read the other website for all the details 

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