ClariPhy, Oclaro tout 40-Gbps coherent

Chip vendor ClariPhy Communications and module and component supplier Oclaro Inc. (NASDAQ:OCLR) are talking up coherent approaches to 40-Gbps networking at ECOC. ClariPhy announced at the show that its LightSpeed CL4010 Coherent system on a chip (SoC) was now shipping in volume, thanks to its use by Oclaro in that company’s 40-Gbps MI 5000XM coherent modules. The two companies also announced a joint reference design that combines the LightSpeed CL4010 with Oclaro’s Oclaro narrow-linewidth ITLA, 40-Gbps coherent receiver, and 40-Gbps lithium niobate modulator.

Chip vendor ClariPhy Communications and module and component supplier Oclaro Inc. (NASDAQ:OCLR) are talking up coherent approaches to 40-Gbps networking at ECOC. ClariPhy announced at the show that its LightSpeed CL4010 Coherent system on a chip (SoC) is now shipping in volume, thanks to its use by Oclaro in that company’s 40-Gbps MI 5000XM coherent modules. The two companies also announced a joint reference design that combines the LightSpeed CL4010 with Oclaro’s Oclaro narrow-linewidth ITLA, 40-Gbps coherent receiver, and 40-Gbps lithium niobate modulator.

The full-duplex LightSpeed CL4010 combines a DSP with advanced modulation, analog-to-digital converter, transmitter, OTN framer, and SFI-5.1 interface. It is designed to support transmission over 3000 km of non-compensated fiber thanks to a chromatic dispersion tolerance of 55,000 ps/nm.

Speaking with Lightwave this morning from Geneva, where ECOC is being held this week, Oclaro Chairman, President, and CEO Alain Couder said Oclaro has shipped the MI 5000XM to a pair of customers and has other customers who are nearing readiness to receive the modules. Reza Norouzian, vice president of business development and sales at ClariPhy who was also on the call, said the company was working with other module vendors as well, but declined to be more specific.

Meanwhile, the two companies have already shipped the reference design to both module and systems developers. In addition to its work with Oclaro, ClariPhy also has demonstrated interoperability between the LightSpeed CL 4010 coherent SoC Cortina System's Optical Transport Network (OTN) processor devices (see “ClariPhy, Cortina Systems aim at 40-Gbps coherent optical networks”). Elements of the Cortina OTN processor line likely will find a place on future versions of the reference design, Norouzian said.

The two companies also have partnered for 100-Gbps coherent applications; in fact, Oclaro has invested in ClarPhy for its expertise at both 40 and 100 Gbps (see “Oclaro: ClariPhy deal boosts 100G component and module play”). Work on the 100-Gbps SoC is well underway, said Norouzian, who declined to provide many details other than to say that the company plans to implement the 100-Gbps SoC in 28-nm CMOS technology. The current LightSpeed CL4010 is implemented in a 40-nm process, the first 100-Gbps device to use this process, Norouzian asserted.

However, Couder made plain that the emphasis at ECOC was on 40-Gbps coherent. He said that he expects a significant lifetime for 40-Gbps coherent demand, particularly since the ClariPhy/Oclaro approach would yield transponders priced similarly to direct-detection 40-Gbps transponder using modulation formats such as DPSK and DQPSK. He allowed that the 40-Gbps coherent modules would not match the price of four 10-Gbps devices, but pointed out the savings in amplification and dispersion compensation the use of coherent technology enables as mitigating factors in coherent’s favor.

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