Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN), as part of its Infinite Network strategy announcement February 19, revealed that it will offer pluggable coherent modules to the market as part of its plans to meet edge network demands. The company has since supplied additional details about this aspect of the Infinite Network.
The optical transceivers will leverage the generation of Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE) that comes after the newly announced ICE6. The timing of that new generation, dubbed ICE6+1, is not yet being revealed; Infinera said via a response to emailed questions that pluggable modules with ICE6+1 capabilities will come after ICE6-enabled platforms reach the market, a milestone expected next year. Infinera added it will use the flexibility ICE6+1 will enable, alongside the spectrum-splitting “virtual laser” technology Infinera described last week, to support transmission rates ranging from 100 Gbps to 400 Gbps. Infinera said it expects to let customer requirements dictate the order in which support of the various transmission rates reaches the market. When these transmission rates are offered, they will be delivered via standard optical module form factors, such as QSFP28, QSFP-DD, and OSFP.
How these modules will be produced remains a topic of discussion, Infinera stated. However, the company appears to be willing to offer them for use on platforms other than their own. “We expect they will have application in a wide variety of systems,” the company wrote. “There are actually a number of significant network architectural possibilities opened up by our approach here that we’re still exploring with key customers.”
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