ClariPhy LightSpeed-II coherent SoCs for 100G, 200G, 400G near sampling

Communications IC vendor ClariPhy Communications, Inc. says it will deliver samples this month of its LightSpeed-II family of coherent SoCs. The devices will support coherent transmission from 40 Gbps to 200 Gbps per wavelength, with the implication that two of the devices could be used to support 400 Gbps via a pair of subcarriers within a superchannel.

Communications IC vendor ClariPhy Communications, Inc. says it will deliver samples this month of its LightSpeed-II family of coherent SoCs. The devices will support coherent transmission from 40 Gbps to 200 Gbps per wavelength, with the implication that two of the devices could be used to support 400 Gbps via a pair of subcarriers within a superchannel.

The 28-nm CMOS devices will accommodate a variety of modulation formats, including BPSK, QPSK, and 16-QAM. Paul Voois, co-founder and chief strategy officer of ClariPhy, says the family offers a high degree of integration, combining a high-speed analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converter, the coherent DSP, a digital transmit filter, soft-decision forward error correction (SD-FEC), and an Optical Transport Network (OTN) framer/mapper. The level of integration obviates the need for a separate transmit multiplexer while supporting multiple modulation formats, spectral shaping, and flexible-grid networking, he says.

Meanwhile, an embedded microprocessor and a ClariPhy-supplied software stack enables parameters such as spectral efficiency to be programmable. The device also supports optical monitoring.

Voois believes the LightSpeed-II devices will be the first such SoCs to market, giving ClariPhy a leg up on its primary competition, the partnership of NEL and Broadcom (see “NTT Electronics, Broadcom pair for coherent DSP”). The company already has several module and systems customers lined up to receive the samples, with Sumitomo Electric undoubtedly one of them based on the fact that the companies combined to demonstrate an early version of the LightSpeed-II at OFC/NFOEC last year (see “ClariPhy, Sumitomo Electric pair to demo 100G coherent CFP technology”). Voois says that companies are interested in using the devices for both 200G and 400G applications. ClariPhy has linked up with a variety of component vendors on a 200G reference design (see "ClariPhy partners for 200G coherent optical reference design").

Voois would not discuss the size of the devices, but asserts that they will support pluggable optical transceiver form factors. The devices’ power dissipation also will meet metro requirements, according to a company press release.

The devices should be in production by the end of this year. The availability of silicon such as the LightSpeed-II family opens the door for systems houses and module vendors who don’t have the requisite in-house ASIC expertise to jump into 200G and 400G optical networking. Ciena, Alcatel-Lucent, and Infinera have had a head start in this field (see, for example “Sprint, Ciena test 400G fiber-optic network link,”“Orange, Alcatel-Lucent provide live 400G link to RENATER,” and "Infinera debuts DTN-X packet-optical transport platform with 500G PIC, OTN/MPLS support"), with Huawei right behind them (see “EXATEL trials Huawei single-carrier 400G WDM platform”) and ZTE conducting 400G trials as well (see "ZTE transmits 400 Gbps more than 5000 km"). However, the fact that there are very few 400-Gbps deployments so far indicates that there’s time for companies that rely on outside sources for 400G silicon and optics to ready themselves before market demand takes off.

For more information on communications ICs and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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