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OFC 2023: new launches round-up, part II

09 Mar 2023

A selection of new launches and announcements from this week’s expo in San Diego.

The 2023 Optical Fiber Communications Conference and Exhibition (OFC) exhibition, taking place this week in San Diego, Ca., features demonstrations of the industry’s most innovative new products and optical technologies driving advances in quantum networking, AI, and data center connectivity.

Here, below, optics.org reviews a selection of new launches and announcements from this week’s expo.

Avicena Tech Corp., a private company based in Sunnyvale, CA, has partnered with ams Osram to develop high-volume manufacturing of GaN microLED arrays for its LightBundle communication architecture.

The Avicena LightBundle architecture is said to “break new ground by unlocking the performance of xPUs, memory and sensors – removing key constraints of bandwidth and proximity while simultaneously offering an order-of-magnitude reduction in power consumption.”

LightBundle is based on arrays of innovative GaN LED micro-emitters that can be integrated onto high performance CMOS ICs. This leverages emerging microLED manufacturing ecosystems.

“We acquired our fab from Nanosys in October to accelerate our development efforts and support low-volume prototype manufacturing,” said Bardia Pezeshki, CEO of Avicena. “However, we are addressing very sizeable markets requiring high-volume manufacturing. We are partnering with one of world’s top GaN LED companies to provide a path to satisfy the expected high volumes required by our customers, including hyperscale datacenter operators.”

Ayar Labs, a developer of silicon photonics for chip-to-chip optical connectivity, gave a public demonstration of the industry’s first 4 terabit-per-second bidirectional WDM optical solution at OFC.

The company achieves this latest milestone as it works with leading high-volume manufacturing and supply partners including GlobalFoundries, Lumentum, Macom, Sivers Photonics, to deliver the optical interconnects needed for data-intensive applications.

Separately, the company was featured in an announcement with partner Quantifi Photonics on a CW-WDM-compliant test platform for its SuperNova™ light source, also at OFC.

In-package optical I/O changes the power and performance trajectories of system design by enabling compute, memory and network silicon to communicate with a fraction of the power and dramatically improved performance, latency and reach versus existing electrical I/O solutions.

Craig Thompson, VP Business Development for Networking at NVIDIA, commented “In-package optical I/O solutions have the potential to transform how semiconductor, AI, HPC and aerospace customers process their next-generation, data-intensive workloads. NVIDIA’s accelerated computing platform is enabled by advanced technologies such as WDM optical interconnects to equip tomorrow’s innovators with the extreme performance they need.”

Effect Photonics, a developer of integrated optical solutions, has announced at OFC the development of a new Pico Tunable Laser Assembly to address the growing demand for 100G coherent transceivers in access networks.

Tunable lasers are a core component of optical systems enabling dense wavelength division multiplexing, which allows network operators to expand their network capacity without expanding the existing fiber infrastructure.

Specifically designed for the optical network edge, Effect Photonics’ pTLA supports both commercial- and industrial-temperature (C-temp and I-temp) operating ranges and offers an ideal combination of power, cost, and size to enable a transceiver form-factors to upgrade the existing infrastructure to a scalable 100 Gbps coherent solution.

According to a recent Heavy Reading survey, 75% of operators believe that 100G coherent pluggable optics will be used extensively in their edge and access evolution strategy. However, market adoption has yet to materialize since affordable and power-efficient 100ZR-based products are currently not available due to stringent size and power consumption requirements that cannot be fulfilled by today’s tunable laser solutions.

The Ethernet Alliance, a global consortium dedicated to the progress of Ethernet technologies, this week revealed details of its multivendor demonstration at the OFC conference and exhibition.

Featuring 18 different participating member companies, the Ethernet Alliance interoperability demo (on booth #5417) spans diverse Ethernet technologies ranging from 10 Gigabit Ethernet to 800GbE. The interoperability display features a live network between the booths of Ethernet Alliance and the Optical Internetworking Forum, Exfo, Spirent Communications, and Viavi Solutions.

The network leverages single-mode optical fibers with high-speed traffic originating from an array of switches, routers, interconnects, including copper and optical cables. It also employs various interconnects using multiple pluggable form factors such as OSFP, QSFP-DD, QSFP, and SFP, and multiple interface types including OIF 400ZR, OpenZR+ MSA 400ZR+, and 800G-ETC-CR8.

“We’re now at the half-century mark, and Ethernet’s star continues to rise. As a profoundly resilient technology that’s getting progressively faster, it is an innovation engine that drives market diversification and fuels business growth,” said Peter Jones, chairman, Ethernet Alliance.

Schott, a developer of transistor outline (TO) technology, has launched its new high-speed TO PLUS headers. This packaging solution for fiber-optic data transmission components enables unprecedented transmission speeds for both datacom and passive optical networks. These new high-speed TO packages are available in various headers for datacom and next-generation PON applications.

Coherent has announced the introduction of its 1300 nm high-power continuous wave distributed feedback laser diodes for silicon photonics-based datacom pluggable transceivers. The company says that “Cloud and AI service providers are ramping up deployments of 400G and 800G transceivers for their megascale datacenter buildouts, with an eye on 1.6T transceivers in the future.”

Coherent is introducing high-power CW DFB laser diodes that enable 400G to 1.6T silicon photonics-based transceivers, which are among the transceiver technology platforms deployed in the datacenter mid-reach range of 500m to 2km.

Dr. Kou-Wei Wang, VP and General Manager, Indium Phosphide & Integrated Circuits Business Unit, commented, “While our new lasers are ideally suited for today’s high-speed silicon photonics-based pluggable transceivers, including our own designs, they are also perfect for future co-packaged optics applications.”

The new lasers achieve 100mW of output power when uncooled and 300mW of output power when cooled, to enable 100Gbps and 200Gbps per lane, respectively, for DR4 and DR8 transceivers. They are available in four coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) wavelengths for FR4 transceivers.

SPECTROGON ABHÜBNER PhotonicsTRIOPTICS GmbHLASEROPTIK GmbHIridian Spectral TechnologiesAlluxaHyperion Optics
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