Opnext targets April 2012 for 100G DP-QPSK coherent transponder module production

Opnext, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPXT) looks like it remains in front in the race to provide the first 100-Gbps optical transponder module based on dual-polarization quadrature phase-shift-keying (DP-QPSK) with coherent detection. The company officially introduced the OTM-100 module today at ECOC and asserts the transponder will be in mass production by next April.

Opnext, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPXT) looks like it remains in front in the race to provide the first 100-Gbps optical transponder module based on dual-polarization quadrature phase-shift-keying (DP-QPSK) with coherent detection. The company officially introduced the OTM-100 module today at ECOC and asserts the transponder will be in mass production by next April.

The 5x7-inch module, which complies with the Optical Internetworking Forum’s (OIF’s) multisource agreement (MSA), is based on what the company call’s “second generation coherent technology.”

Opnext says the OTM-100 module leverages a 100G Digital Coherent Signal Processing LSI (DSP-LSI) in the digital signal processor from NTT Electronics Corp. The DSP-LSI was derived from the “R&D on High Speed Optical Transport System Technologies” project that was supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan. The module also uses soft-decision forward error correction.

Opnext first demonstrated the technology publically at OFC/NFOEC 2010 (see “OFC/NFOEC 2010 Reporter's Notebook, Day 2”) and has reported steady progress since then. While other companies, notably Oclaro (see “Oclaro: ClariPhy deal boosts 100G component and module play”), are pursuing similar optical transponders, none appear to be as close to a finished product as Opnext.

“Over the next three years, the WDM transmission market will rapidly transition from 40 Gbps to coherent 100 Gbps as carriers take advantage of the better cost per bit performance of 100 Gbps,” said Andrew Schmitt, optical directing analyst with Infonetics Research, Inc.“The availability of 100-Gbps coherent technology from module vendors like Opnext will help extend availability of this technology and drive the adoption of 100-Gbps technology in carrier networks.”

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