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integrated functionality, such as dual- loop laser transmitter control, on-chip microcontrollers with memory and high sensitivity receivers to reduce the technical manufacturing burden on equipment makers.
COMMERCIAL AVAILABILITY 10Gbps optical components have been widely available for many years and successfully deployed in traditional telecoms and enterprise datacoms networks, however the cost of 10G-PON optics need to be reduced closer to the cost of today’s GPON optics in order to make volume deployment a reality, and eventually reach parity. Of course, whilst economies of scale must be reached, the ability to supply 10G-PON technologies in volume should not be taken for granted and also requires investment: producing 10G lasers and avalanche photodiodes in high volume will require sufficient fab capacity and high production yields to enable FTTx scale economics. Further innovation will be required across the supply chain to reach the required price points. Designing and manufacturing electronic and optical components at 10Gbps for PON volumes is not an insignificant task: High speed interconnect signal integrity issues, power consumption, receiver optical sensitivity, WiFi ‘EMI’ interference, laser optical performance, low cost tuneable transmitters and receivers, flexible user interfaces and software upgradability are all problems that must be solved and require innovation from silicon chip designers, optical device manufacturers, hardware assembly fabricators and system equipment vendors. The silicon and optical device technology now exists to build complete ONU and even OLT functions into single SFP+ and XFP MSA form-factor sized transceiver modules enabled by the availability of low power silicon MACs (Media Access Controller) in chip scale packaging. ONU equipment designers are working on transitioning from optical transceiver based ONUs to full BOSA-on-Board component technology, aided by PMD silicon vendors providing low power chips with highly
WHY CHINA WILL CONTINUE TO LEAD
China’s rapid adoption of FTTx PON technologies and infrastructure can be attributed to the country’s desire to be a world leader in internet connectivity coupled with a pragmatic approach to technology adoption, i.e. using the most cost effective PON technology available at the time (EPON) and then changing to a more effective technology (GPON) when the economics made sense but then also innovating costs down. China is now home to three leading FTTx PON system equipment makers globally (Huawei, ZTE and Fiberhome) and remains the largest market for wireline broadband subscribers. This author believes China will continue to dominate the FTTx PON market due its incumbent market size, pragmatic approach to technology adoption, component level innovation and supply chain leadership. The deployment of wireless 5G mobile technology will likely be another area in which China becomes a global leader and, to do this, China will no doubt take a pragmatic approach to re-using and deploying new PON technologies to achieve country wide 5G coverage – it will be interesting to see this play out. OUTLOOK AND CONCLUSIONS Central office upgrades to 10G-PON OLTs began several years ago and have recently ramped above an initial 1 million per annummilestone. On the other hand, ONU deployments, which end up at double digit multiples of OLT volumes, have really only just started. Within the next few years 10G-PON will become more widely adopted worldwide and China will again lead the world in FTTx PON as it transitions to 10G-PON. Early volumes are likely to consist of asymmetric technology for residential use and symmetric for business use. In the long term symmetric XGS-PON will likely be the dominant technology driving volume. Whilst the current US-China trade disputes have adversely affected the FTTx PON technology supply chain and customer base, companies headquartered outside of the US can likely benefit from China’s increasing trend to move away from US silicon and optical componentry. A China-dominated FTTx PON market will drive innovation in optical components, silicon, assembly techniques, software, and systems. For those companies that can provide innovative solutions that help to reduce power, reduce cost and improve performance, and which can in turn drive volume growth, the outlook is increasingly positive.
provide them with higher rate services is underway. Residential customers are starting to demand, and willing to pay for, higher bandwidth services such as HDTV and connecting up multiple high bandwidth consuming WiFi devices in a household. There are several major non-residential applications too: Business customers want higher speeds and network security, therefore the ability to provide customers with dedicated wavelengths and virtual networks is increasing; NG-PONs can be used to link wireless mobile networks in both front-haul and back-haul applications. The network operators themselves want the ability to upgrade their networks to PON technologies that will be sufficient and flexible for many years to come.
Fig 1: Global FTTx PON ONU port shipments, 2017
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ISSUE 15 | Q4 2018 ISS 1 | 1
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