Ranovus direct detect on-board modules, CFP2 optical transceivers reach general availability

Ranovus Inc. says that its first products, a 200-Gbps on-board optical module and a CFP2 optical transceiver, have achieved general availability. The products, both of which used PAM4-based direct-detect modulation, are in lab trials with a variety of customers – and a company source expects at least some of those trials to lead to field deployments in the second quarter of this year.

Ranovus Inc. says that its first products, a 200-Gbps on-board optical module and a CFP2 optical transceiver, have achieved general availability. The products, both of which used PAM4-based direct-detect modulation, are in lab trials with a variety of customers – and a company source expects at least some of those trials to lead to field deployments in the second quarter of this year.

The company emerged from stealth mode in 2013 with a vision to combine quantum dot lasers (QDLs), ring resonator based silicon photonic modulators, driver ICs, and receiver elements to create modules that could support transmission of a very high number of wavelengths (see "RANOVUS hopes to ride quantum dot lasers to data center success" and "Quantum dot lasers and silicon photonics advance data-center connectivity"). Saeid Aramideh, co-founder and chief marketing and sales officer at the company, says the current modules can support 96 DWDM channels in the C-Band. The technology also could support additional channels in the L-Band; however, the company's plans to expand in this direction are still in their early stages, Aramideh said.

The modules now in customer hands target data center interconnect, 5G mobile backhaul/fronthaul, and multi-access edge computing applications. Aramideh says they will accommodate reaches of 15, 40, and greater than 80 km via a platform that will support operation at industrial temperature ranges. They leverage PAM4 silicon from Broadcom, although Aramideh revealed that the company is evaluating technology from alternative suppliers.

The on-board modules use a package of the company's own design. Aramideh notes that Ranovus is a member of the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO), but that group's work began after Ranovus had embarked on its on-board product development. The CFP2 module, meanwhile, is designed to be an alternative to upcoming CFP2-DCO coherent optical transceivers. Aramideh says the company does not have plans currently to branch out into the coherent market; direct detect "is the way to go" to enable the cost reduction network operators seek, he explained. Along these lines, Aramideh said a direct-detect version of COBO's coherent on-board module specification might make sense.

To illustrate the performance of the products, Ranovus will team with ADVA Optical Networking on a demonstration on the exhibit floor at OFC 2018 in San Diego, March 13-15. The demonstration will see the use of the on-board optical module integrated into ADVA's FSP 3000 CloudConnect terminal to provide 400-Gbps transmission over 80 km of standard single mode fiber in conjunction with ADVA's open line system. The 200G CFP2 optical modules will transmit over the same physical layer for 80 km as well.

Aramideh described ADVA as a longtime strategic partner. System houses such as ADVA are among the customer types now evaluating the devices. Ranovus is engaged with "the whole ecosystem" in terms of product trials, Aramideh added. The roster includes Web 2.0 companies who are evaluating Ranovus products for use with whitebox optical systems, he said. While some evaluators are using the devices to learn more about the capabilities of direct-detect technology, Aramideh said others are thinking of the modules for near-term design-in requirements. He predicted both modules could see fielded implementation in the second quarter of this year.

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