Acacia Communications sampling 100G coherent CFP transceiver

Having been first to market with a 100G coherent optical module in the OIF MSA form factor (see “Acacia Communications details 100-Gbps coherent optical module”), Acacia Communications looks like it also will be first to the starting line with a coherent CFP. The company says it is now sampling the AC100-CFP optical transceiver. The module features a metro-optimized DSP and a silicon photonics-based photonic integrated circuit that set the stage for further integration to create a digital CFP2 coherent optical module, according to Acacia President and CEO Raj Shanmugaraj.

Having been first to market with a 100G coherent optical module in the OIF MSA form factor (see “Acacia Communications details 100-Gbps coherent optical module”), Acacia Communications looks like it also will be first to the starting line with a coherent CFP. The company says it is now sampling the AC100-CFP optical transceiver. The module features a metro-optimized DSP and a silicon photonics-based photonic integrated circuit that set the stage for further integration to create a digital CFP2 coherent optical module, according to Acacia President and CEO Raj Shanmugaraj.

The module offers low power dissipation – 24 W in the 80-km ZR mode. In addition to ZR, the device will support 1200-km transmission applications, Shanmugaraj says. It also will come in at a price similar to direct-detect 100G metro modules, he adds.

Shanmugaraj says the company is sampling the module this month to more than 15 customers, 12 of whom are not current customers for the OIF module. This list includes systems houses who have delivered coherent platforms to the market based on their own in-house ASIC technology, he asserts; these companies may be looking for a way to support coherent transmission in existing CFP slots (the module features built-in OTN framing). The modules should be generally available by the end of June.

The silicon photonics chip in the module integrates QPSK modulation and coherent receiver capabilities with the necessary polarization splitter/combiner functions. Drivers and transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs) are co-packaged in a “gold box.” Shanmugaraj says that the path toward integrating all of this at the wafer level is clear and, along with further DSP evolution, will enable creation of a coherent CFP2 with an onboard DSP. He expects to achieve this goal in the latter half of next year.

The module will not support 200-Gbps transmission, which Shanmugaraj says is due to interface limitations of the CFP MSA. He promises details of the company’s plans to support 200G and 400G later this year, likely this fall.

Meanwhile, there should be plenty of demand for the coherent CFP. "Demand for 100G DWDM modules was strong in 2013 and our recent market forecast shows the market for these products rapidly growing in 2014-2018. However, our forecast assumes that optical component and module suppliers will find ways to reduce cost, size and power consumption of 100G optical interfaces," said Vladimir Kozlov, PhD., founder and CEO of LightCounting Market Research, via an Acacia press release. "Acacia's CFP product addresses these challenges by combining company's expertise in 100G digital signal processing and module design with innovative technology of silicon photonics."

For more information on optical transceivers and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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