Acacia sampling 100G coherent pluggables for edge, access deployments

Aug. 13, 2020
Offered in the QSFP-DD form factor widely used for client-optics, Acacia says its new 100G coherent point-to-point (P2P) edge and access solutions are designed to provide network operators the ability to scale to higher data rates.

Acacia Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ACIA), a provider of high-speed coherent optical interconnect products, this week announced it is sampling new 100G coherent pluggable solutions specifically designed for optimization in edge and access deployment applications with unamplified links up to 120 km.

Offered in a QSFP-DD form factor widely used for client-optics, Acacia says its new 100G coherent point-to-point (P2P) edge and access solutions are "designed to provide network operators the ability to scale to higher data rates to meet growing bandwidth demands over some of the most challenging optical links, while also providing operational simplicity that may lead to overall network savings."

Compared to alternative direct-detect solutions, the company notes its coherent P2P solutions are extremely tolerant to fiber types, chromatic dispersion, polarization mode dispersion (PMD), and back reflections, which simplifies operational deployment. Edge and access networks, particularly those offering 5G wireless and enterprise services, can benefit from coherent technology because it has ample optical margins which can easily handle the condition and reaches of the access fiber plant resulting in shorter provisioning times. 

Anuj Malik, director of product management at Acacia Communications, commented, “Leveraging our 10 years of high-performance coherent transmission expertise, we specifically designed our new 100G coherent P2P solutions to meet the needs of edge and access applications in terms of form factor, power consumption and cost, building on our technology leadership in silicon photonics and low-power DSPs.

He added, “Acacia has a long-standing track record of driving coherent into new market applications by delivering the technology, scalability, feature set, and innovation that service providers need to maintain and grow their networks over time."

The company contends its coherent P2P solutions are user-friendly in deployment and provisioning due to qualities such as low laser emission, a wide tolerance range and rich monitoring and diagnostic features. Pluggable coherent solutions in QSFP-DD are designed to enable network scalability to ensure that data rates can scale-up by leveraging the QSFP-DD slots with 200G and 400G versions in the future.

“Technology advancements have reached a point where coherent pluggables match the QSFP-DD form factor of grey optics, enabling a change in the way our customers build networks,” asserts Keven Wollenweber, VP product management for Cisco’s Routing Portfolio. “100G edge and access optimized coherent pluggables will not only provide operational simplicity, but also scalability, making access networks more future proof.”

Acacia’s 100G QSFP-DD P2P fixed wavelength hot pluggable module is designed to operate over various types of unamplified single-mode edge and access fiber links up to 120km. The solution leverages Acacia’s 3D Siliconization approach, which utilizes high-volume manufacturing processes and benefits from the maturity of Acacia’s silicon photonics technology. 

“Over the past decade, coherent technology has moved beyond its long-haul origins and is now firmly entrenched in the metro,” concludes Sterling Perrin, sr. principal analyst, Heavy Reading. “With the coming of 5G and edge computing, the time is right for coherent optics to take the next step and migrate to edge and access networks. Operators looking for scale and operational simplicity will find QSFP-DD coherent pluggables a compelling option compared to direct detect alternatives.”

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