Oclaro readies 100G coherent CFP2 for sampling

Sources at optical component and module specialist Oclaro, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCLR) say the company will sample a 100-Gbps coherent CFP2 optical transceiver in the second quarter of this year. The module, which Oclaro will demonstrate privately at OFC 2014 in San Francisco next week, will share internally developed InP optical components with a 100G coherent CFP that should be available in the same time frame, the sources say.

Sources at optical component and module specialist Oclaro, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCLR) say the company will sample a 100-Gbps coherent CFP2 optical transceiver in the second quarter of this year. The module, which Oclaro will demonstrate privately at OFC 2014 in San Francisco next week, will share internally developed InP optical components with a 100G coherent CFP that should be available in the same time frame, the sources say.

Oclaro will supply both linear and limiting versions of the CFP2, which means the module could be used to support either 100G using DP-QPSK and 200G via 16-QAM, Oclaro product marketing director Robert Blum tells Lightwave. He expects customers will use the module for both data rates, particularly for metro and regional networks; the 200G module should support reaches of around 80 km, Blum expects.

The optical transceiver will not have an onboard DSP; Blum says that even with the new generation of lower-power DSPs expected to reach the market soon (see, for example, “ClariPhy LightSpeed-II coherent SoC for 100G, 200G, 400G nears sampling”) fitting the DSP and associated electronics into the CFP2’s power budget remains a significant challenge. Without the DSP, Oclaro says the coherent CFP2 will feature a power dissipation of 12 W. The module will work with a wide variety of DSPs, Blum says; this will be a key point for potential customers who have a marked DSP preference, particularly such “first wave” 100G system houses who are using ASICs they’ve developed in-house.

The CFP, of course, will have the DSP onboard. While Blum says he expects more interest in the CFP2, he believes there will be a market for the larger CFP among “Tier 2” customers.

The ability to support such pluggable form factors is based on Oclaro’s development of integrated, low-power InP-based components, Blum adds. These include an transmitter that integrates a narrow-linewidth tunable laser and InP modulator and a micro coherent receiver (likely a micro iTLA). The devices perform at least as well as their lithium niobate-based predecessors, Blum asserts.

"The availability of coherent CFP2 pluggable modules is going to drive a significant increase in the number of 100G and 200G coherent ports we expect to see in 2015,” said Daryl Inniss, vice president and practice leader of components for market research firm Ovum via an Oclaro press release. “The market has been demanding the higher densities, lower power, and smaller form factors that are possible with CFP2 coherent technology, and Oclaro has positioned itself well, as the first company to bring this technology to market."

The ability to support 200G in a CFP2 opens the question of transmitting 400G via a pair of 200G subcarriers. Blum says that Oclaro has discussed this possibility with customers “for quite a while.” However, Oclaro does not appear to have a 400G module on the near-term roadmap; Blum says it is likely customers interested in supporting 400G will multiplex the output of two 200G CFP2 devices for the time being.

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

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