Coherent optical module and DSP vendor Acacia Communications (NASDAQ: ACIA) has made good on its promise to develop a CFP2 coherent transceiver with an integrated coherent digital signal processor (DSP) ASIC. The company says its CFP2 Digital Coherent Optics (CFP2-DCO) is now sampling.
The CFP2-DCO pluggable optical transceiver, which the company has had on its roadmap since at least 2013 (see "Acacia Communications adds funding, hints at new products"), leverages a new low-power DSP ASIC based on 16-nm CMOS technology. The ASIC will support both 100 Gbps via QPSK modulation for 100-Gbps applications as well as 200G using either 8QAM or 16QAM modulation. It also has internally enabled Layer 1 encryption capabilities.
The new DSP ASIC requires about half the power in 100-Gbps mode than the company's Sky DSP ASIC, which it introduced two years ago, according to Benny Mikkelsen, founder and CTO of Acacia Communications.
The CFP2-DCO module differs from the currently popular CFP2 Analog Coherent Optics (CFP2-ACO) modules in that the latter do not integrate the DSP ASIC within the module package. The CFP2-ACO DSP is placed on the board within the line card. The CFP2-ACO has the advantage of being cheaper and compatible with a variety of DSP ASICs, including those systems houses have developed internally.
However, the CFP2-DCO enables a "pay as you go" approach to line card design, obviating the need for systems houses to select, qualify, and install coherent ASICs on cards that might not need the capability on all ports right away. The module also can add coherent transmission capabilities to systems not originally designed to support them, provided those systems accept CFP2 optics. This ability can prove useful when upgrading fielded hardware to meet changing transmission requirements.
"The CFP2-DCO form factor requires significantly low power consumption for pluggable coherent optics and substantially increases faceplate density," said Axel Clauberg, vice president, Aggregation, Transport, IP Architecture at Deutsche Telekom AG. "This form factor requires low-power DSP ASIC technology, which has been a key element of Acacia's DSP ASIC innovation. Pluggable DCO modules also enable interoperability, which Deutsche Telekom has continued to drive in the industry, as demonstrated in the Terastream project."
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