Summer 2019 - Optical Connections Magazine


the 7 nm we are at today. Monolithic integration and 3D stacking is in its early phases, but we are already seeing this bringing significant value to coherent interfaces today. It has enabled small pluggable form factors and will continue to enable even smaller form factors as we go forward, for example, 400 gig in a small QSFP or the OSFP very soon. However, co-packaging of optics and switches is expected to be key for at least 50 terabits and beyond. SELF-DRIVING CARS Dmitri Dolgov, CTO, Waymo, gave another keynote presentation on-self driving cars. Waymo is the only company having a fleet of self-driving cars on public roads, operated by Google. A suite of sensors including lidar, radar and cameras, gives Waymo’s vehicles a 360 degree view and a detailed 3D picture of

technologies in our industry so it’s no surprise these are the interoperability specifications our members are most focused on for OFC,” said Steve Sekel of Keysight and chair of OIF’s Physical and Link Layer Interoperability Working Group. 400G ZR is a simple and low- cost standard for transmitting 400 gigabit Ethernet over data centre interconnection links up to 100 km using DWDM and higher order modulation such as 16 QAM. The solution is proposed to be available in a small form factor modules such as OSFP or DD-QSFP. OIF’s 400ZR project is critical in facilitating the reduction of cost and complexity for high bandwidth data centre interconnects and promoting interoperability among optical module manufacturers. Currently in progress, the project will result in an

gave a keynote talk ‘Tackling Capacity & Density Challenges by Electro-Photonic Integration’. In his keynote Mikkelsen pointed out that more and more users and devices are connected every day, and also, we consume more and more video content every day. On the horizon there is a need for increased connectivity and higher speed due to new areas like self-driving cars, augmented reality, healthcare and IoT. Several reports show that capacity roughly grows between 25% and 30% year over year. Also reports show that operators spend 7% more on capital equipment and on networking year on year. In the optical transport segment, roughly 3% more get spent every year, while on optical transceivers themselves, the figure is roughly 10%. The good news is that vendors get paid more and more every year, but the challenge is that the traffic is growing even faster. So, innovation has to fill the gap between what they get paid for and what they have to deliver and electro-photonic integration is the key to achieving that. Mikkelsen noted that the total cost of equipment is not just the cost of the equipment itself, but also the cost of ownership. Part of operating the equipment is the cost of space, cooling and supplying electricity. Some forecasts predict that 20% of global electricity will be consumed by information technology, so there is a strong interest in decreasing the power consumption of network equipment. Also in data centres there can be hot-spots meaning there is a need to have half-empty racks. Mikkelsen said that if we scale up we can end in an unfortunate situation if not taking care of the power consumption, but fortunately, history shows that integration helps Moore’s law saying that every time the transistor size is scaled, it is possible to integrate more and more transistors on a chip, but today we can integrate billions of transistors on a single chip. On the optical side we can only integrate hundreds of functions. We don’t have a single building block in photonics integration, but need to build lasers, modulators, receivers, and splitters, etc. BEATING MOORE’S LAW The whole industry is today working on integrating 400G coherent transceivers in small form factors. Looking back, power, size and cost of coherent transceivers have been reduced by 30% to 40% year over year, actually beating Moore’s law, Mikkelsen explained. After having showed several examples of electro-photonic integration, he concluded that integration has enabled cost effective scaling of capacity and density in optical networks. He added that we will also continue to benefit from smaller CMOS nodes well beyond reducing size, power and cost. On the electronics side there is

the co-packaging of optics and switches is expected to be key for at least 50Tbps and beyond


implementation agreement for 400G ZR and short-reach DWDM multi-vendor interoperability.

the world. Instead of using off the shelf modules that might have been designed for something else, Waymo design the sensors and computers from the ground up, specifically for the task of autonomous driving. Waymo have designed three types of different lidars. On the top of the vehicle there is a medium and long range lidar that gives 360 degree coverage around the vehicle. Down below around the perimeter of the car four short range lasers are placed, so they can detect the blind spots making it possible to detect small objects to the vehicle. Lidars work by painting a precise 3D model of the world sending out millions of laser pulses every second. 400ZR DEMO 13 Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) member companies had a live interoperability demos of the industry’s hottest technologies – 400ZR, Common Electrical I/O (CEI)-112G and Flex Ethernet (FlexE). Amphenol, Cisco Systems, Credo Semiconductor (HK) LTD, Finisar, Inphi, Juniper Networks, Keysight Technologies, Molex, Spirent Communications, TE Connectivity, VIAVI Solutions, Xilinx and Yamaichi Electronics participated in the demonstration. “400ZR, CEI-112G and FlexE are critical

SEA CABLES The need for more bandwidth has also resulted in the upgrading of transatlantic sea cables. Infinera has achieved new benchmarks for efficiency for fibre optic cables. Testing an emerging approach for how the light signals are transmitted using 16QAM modulation it has nearly doubled data capacity and is approaching the theoretical limit for such a transfer. The team managed to extend record-setting capacity for a given reach - across the Atlantic Ocean - using the MAREA transatlantic cable, which spans 6,605 kilometres from Bilbao, Spain, to Virginia Beach, USA. Funded in part by Microsoft and Facebook, MAREA currently holds the record for the highest-capacity cable crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The MAREA cable came online last year and is made of eight pairs of optic fibres, with each pair designed to carry 20 terabits per second. Using their own high-tech toolkit to modulate the lasers, Infinera generated signal speeds topping out at 26.2Tbps, a 20% increase over what the cable designers originally thought feasible.


| ISSUE 17 | Q2 2019

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