TE's Coolbit active optics to drive 100G, 300G, 400G fiber connectivity

TE unveils new active optics platform technology at OFC 2014.

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After two years of incubation and development, TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) has unveiled its Coolbit optical engines, the company's latest advancement in fiber optics. The Coolbit platform engine, which converts data from electrical signals to optical signals, will be the driving technology behind TE's soon-to-be-released 100G, 300G and 400G active optics.

"TE is a technology engineering company that operates with the agility of a start-up," comments Philip Gilchrist, chief technology officer and vice president of TE Data Communications. "Creating 100G to 400G high-speed active optics will enable the industry to create breakthrough platforms and products."

In 2014, TE will bring to market four active optics products that include Coolbit optical engine platform, including: 100G QSFP28 active optical cables (AOCs); 100G QSFP28 transceivers; 300G mid-board optical modules; and 400G CDFP AOCs. The new platform engine will round out TE's fiber connectivity options for central office, data center, enterprise and undersea applications, allowing the company to offer stronger solutions for the core network.

According to the company, as data center energy consumption concerns rise, along with the need for more data, cooling at the component level will continue to increase in importance. TE says its latest 25G active optics will help to achieve this. Boasting extremely low power consumption, with QSFP28 modules performing at less than 1.5 Watts per transceiver, this new line of 25G active optics is poised to help communication systems achieve up to 60 percent more power savings than existing solutions.

Related: CDFP MSA group forms to advance 400G cabling, modules

At the component level alone, this low power consumption can translate into significant system savings, notes the company. Additionally, for every watt of power saved at this level, equipment operators realize additional infrastructure opex savings. Preliminary TE tests reveal mid-board optics at 5 Watts per port and the CDFP active optical cable assembly (AOC) at 6 Watts per port. The CDFP AOC is part of the MSA that is currently underway. The MSA provisions 8 Watts per port; TE's CDFP AOC yields 25% power savings over this specification.

The new Coolbit optical engines from TE are the enablers of this performance, satisfying both high density and high bandwidth requirements. Each Coolbit optical engine, developed in the company's fabrication facility in Jarfalla, Sweden, uses 25G VCSEL and PIN devices, a TIA amplifier and a driver IC. From research to distribution, TE notes that it controls the entire manufacturing process of the Coolbit optical engines and active optic end products. This integrated approach allows TE to transfer cost savings to the customer, while helping to ensure the quality and reliability of its products.

"TE makes the hard stuff first," concludes TE's Gilchrist. "Our long trusted legacy in connectivity, coupled with a dedication to developing the next impossible technology, we've driven active optics to new levels of performance in terms of higher speeds at incredibly lower power consumption. We can't wait to see what radical new products our partners will create with our Coolbit engine-based products."

TE's 25G active optics featuring Coolbit optical engines will be featured in live demonstrations at OFC 2014, March 11-13, in booth #1521. For more information, visit http://www.te.com/coolbitgo.

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