Acacia offers range of 400-Gbps coherent optical modules

March 5, 2020
Leveraging the company’s Greylock 7-nm DSP, the line includes modules for 400ZR, Open ZR+, and service provider Open ROADM inspired applications.

Acacia Communications (NASDAQ: ACIA) has unveiled a line of 400-Gbps coherent optical modules. Leveraging the company’s Greylock 7-nm DSP, the line includes modules for 400ZR, Open ZR+, and service provider Open ROADM inspired applications. The modules are sampling and should reach general availability in the second half of this year, according to an Acacia source.

The 400ZR and Open ZR+ modules will be available in OSFP and QSFP-DD form factors, according to Tom Williams, vice president of marketing at Acacia. The Open ZR+ follows the principals of the Open ZR+ initiative that Acacia co-founded with NTT Electronics last September and is designed to support reaches of greater than 120 km for 400 Gigabit Ethernet traffic, which is longer than the 400ZR specification targets. Williams said that discussions toward expanding the Open ZR+ ecosystem are ongoing with additional companies.

The service provider Open ROADM module will come in a CFP2-DCO profile. It is compatible with Ethernet and OTN interfaces, performs multiplexing, and uses oFEC to support link lengths of 120 km or greater for metro and regional networks. Much of the technology developed for this module has been applied to Open ZR+, Williams said.

In addition to the Greylock DSP, which Acacia developed for low-cost pluggable optics, the new modules leverage the company’s integration approach to optics and silicon photonics. Called 3D Siliconization, the approach follows a stacking architecture that enables the coherent DSP to reside in the same package as such optical-related functions as drivers, transimpedance amplification, and modulation. The methodology eliminates the use of RF connectors, Williams said.

The 400G modules have already reached the lab of at least one customer. “We’re excited to be successfully passing traffic in the lab with the Acacia 400G-OSFP-ZR module in our 7000 Series switches and routers,” said Hacene Chaouch, distinguished engineer at Arista Networks, via an Acacia press release. “400ZR is critical to meeting customer demand for growing data center interconnect bandwidth and we believe the thermal and optical performance of Acacia’s coherent platform in the OSFP form factor will provide network operators with a very reliable and power-efficient solution.”

“Acacia is reinforcing its coherent pluggable leadership by sampling 400G technology in multiple form factors,” added Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst at Cignal AI, via the same release. “Interoperable 400G solutions have the potential to transform cloud DCI [data center interconnect] and traditional operator architectures and create new applications for coherent optics at the edge of the network.”

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