Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Tech Update: Optical Network Redesign with 400G Pluggables

Arelion has deployed Cisco 400G QSFP-DD Bright Optical Modules in its production IP backbone, initially on a 675 km route between Stockholm and Copenhagen. Mattias Fridström, Chief Evangelist from Arelion, discusses how  these 400G pluggable operate over third-party Optical Open Line System (O-OLS). Some highlights of the video:

- These optics can be directly installed into a router, eliminating the need for an optical transponder and enabling you to shoot traffic over longer distances.

- The main business cases for this technology: connecting points of presence (POPs) that are further away, and shooting traffic between core routers in the internet backbone, thereby saving time and money.

- The concept of alien wavelengths is discussed, including how this technology can work with any vendor, offering a more efficient way of running your network.


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Credo intros Seagull 452 Optical DSPs

Credo Technology announced the availability of its Seagull 452 family of high-performance, low-power optical Digital Signal Processors (DSPs)  targeted at the burgeoning 400G Active Optical Cable (AOC) market for AI networks. 

The family consists of the octal channel Seagull 452, the quad channel Seagull 252 and the dual channel Seagull 152 DSPs. All devices come with integrated VCSEL, EML and SiPho drivers.

  • Seagull 452 is a versatile full-duplex device that can be used in next generation 8x50Gbps QSFP-DD optical transceivers or AOCs for 400Gbps SR8/DR8/FR8/LR8 applications using PAM4 modulation.
  • Seagull 252 can be used in next generation 4x50Gbps QSFP56 optical transceivers or AOCs in 200Gbps SR4/DR4/LR4 applications using PAM4 modulation.
  • Seagull 152 can be used in 2x50Gbps QSFP28, SFP-DD or DSFP optical transceivers or AOCs and supports 100Gbps SR2/DR2/LR2 applications.

All members of the Seagull 452 family support 25 Gbps NRZ operation for backwards compatibility.

Key Features of the Seagull 452 DSP Family

  • Fourth generation DSPs on host and line side
  • Line side Rx performance-enhancing features specific to optical link and component impairments
  • Integrated VCSEL drivers with programmable bias and modulation currents
  • Integrated EML and SiPho drivers with programmable output swing and equalization
  • Host side supports extended PCB reach
  • Use with Teal 200 4x50G TIA for a complete optical chipset solution

“With the massive growth of AI as predicted by the market forecasters, we see a tremendous opportunity to grow our footprint with customers, including hyperscalers, as the number of optical interfaces required to meet the AI workload flow will only continue to increase,” said Michael Girvan Lampe, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Credo. “Hyperscalers supporting AI applications will need to balance this growth demand for new levels of performance with capex and energy concerns. The Seagull 452 family of DSPs aims to help our customers balance these concerns while also benefitting from this growing market opportunity.”

Credo intros Quad Channel Transimpedance Amplifier

Credo Technology Group announced the availability of Teal 200, a 4 x 50Gbps Transimpedance Amplifier (TIA) for QSFP56, QSFP-DD and OSFP optical transceivers and active optical cables (AOCs) that target high-volume, low-power applications in AI and hyperscale data centers. 

Teal 200 supports 200Gbps SR4/DR4/FR4 and 400Gbps SR8/DR8/FR8 applications that use 50Gbps PAM-4 modulation. Support for 4 x 25Gbps NRZ operation is included for backwards compatibility. The Credo Teal 200 also features Credo’s industry-leading low-power dissipation.

Teal 200 Key Features

  • Compatible with 25Gbps and 50Gbps lane speeds
  • Works with both 850nm and 1310nm PIN photo diodes
  • Captive photo diode interface
  • Automatic or Manual Gain Control modes
  • Programmable transimpedance gain and peaking control
  • Optimized for use with Credo’s Seagull DSPs

“Transceivers, or pluggable modules, are the building blocks for next generation connectivity at massive scale and by offering the Teal 200 as a seamless complement to our Seagull DSPs we are providing module makers with a complete solution,” said Michael Girvan Lampe, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Credo. “By providing our customers with a complete solution to enable new transceivers with better performance and improved energy efficiency, Credo is addressing the burgeoning growth of the AI/ML ecosystem which will be a significant growth driver for the entire data infrastructure industry.”

BMW picks AWS to power automated driving platform

The BMW Group has chosen AWS as the preferred cloud provider for its automated driving platform. 

The BMW Group will develop its next-generation advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) using AWS to help innovate new features for its next generation of vehicles, the “Neue Klasse,” set to launch in 2025. The new cloud-based system will leverage BMW's pre-existing Cloud Data Hub on AWS, and will use AWS compute, generative artificial intelligence (generative AI), Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and storage capabilities to help accelerate the delivery of highly automated BMW vehicles. BMW will also use AWS to help scale its capacity to handle vast increases in data creation and usage within automated driving feature development.

The BMW Group has also joined Qualcomm  to co-develop next-generation automated driving systems based on the open and modular Snapdragon Ride Platform. The systems feature an integrated Ride Vision software stack to enable 360-degree perception for the vehicle. 

“In the next decade, consumer habits and expectations will drive more changes in the automotive industry than we’ve seen over the past 30 years,” said Dr. Nicolai Martin, senior vice president of Driving Experience at BMW Group. “This is just the beginning of a new era of highly automated driving, fueled by innovations in technology and engineering. By collaborating with AWS, the BMW Group, along with our partner, Qualcomm Technologies, is building our new automated driving platform on AWS’s scalable, secure, and reliable infrastructure. We’re tapping into AWS’s ability to help empower the next generation of BMW’s automated driving and parking functions.”

“As the automotive industry evolves toward a new high-performance, low-power, and highly scalable software-defined vehicle architecture, we are proud to continue our long-standing, strategic cooperation with the BMW Group to codevelop safer and more secure AI-powered driver assistance technologies at scale,” said Nakul Duggal, senior vice president and general manager of Automotive and Cloud Computing at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "The Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 solution and Snapdragon Ride Platforms help deliver automotive innovation to the BMW Group and leading brands across the globe. This strategic relationship with AWS and BMW brings together leading-edge technologies from our respective industries to deliver a modern cloud-native software development environment."

Semtech releases Linear TIA and Laser Driver for Short Reach 400G, 800G

Semtech announced production availability of the FiberEdge GN1816 and GN1848 chipset to its portfolio of PAM4 Transimpedance Amplifiers (TIAs) and Linear Laser Drivers.

  • The FiberEdge GN1816 is a 56GBd feature-rich quad 250μm-pitch low power, low cost, low noise and high gain TIA. 
  • The FiberEdge GN1848 is a 56GBd quad low power, low cost, highly linear and industry leading Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) driver. 

Both chips are available as wire-bondable bare dies and are designed for 400GBASE-SR4/VR4 and 800GBASE-SR8/VR8 PAM4 multi-mode optical transceivers and AOCs.

“The production availability of the FiberEdge GN1816 and GN1848 chipset marks the formal extension of Semtech’s FiberEdge portfolio into the 100G per lane multi-mode fiber market,” said Nicola Bramante, senior product line manager for Semtech’s Signal Integrity Products Group. “The high linearity and low noise of both the GN1816 and GN1848 provide the necessary features needed in high-speed short reach interconnects, enabling re-timed, linear drive and active optical cable (AOC) applications.”

EANTC tests Ekinops' virtualization and embedded router

EANTC AG, the European Advanced Networking Test Center, tested the Ekinops virtualization and embedded router e600 on an entry level uCPE hardware platform based on Intel's C3xxx Atom Denverton CPU.

The testing found that the Ekinops ONEe600 demonstrated solid performance and versatility, making it a valid option for small to medium sized offices looking for a routing solution. The evaluation involved fifteen test runs for three test scenarios. 

The Ekinops OneOS6-LIM (Local Infrastructure Manager) provides virtualization-based network services and the associated design, creation, validation, and deployment operations. The solution creates a virtualized compute environment to run multiple Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) on a uCPE (universal Customer Premise Equipment). OneOS6-LIM comes with an embedded ONEe600 router which includes all OneOS6 feature set such as QoS, zone-based firewall, encryption, and tunneling mechanisms. 

Sylvain Quartier, VP Marketing & Product Strategy for Access at Ekinops says: "Not so long ago, NFV was pronounced dead, and we say no way. Ekinops has a long history of providing network access solutions to Service providers. By working with them in close partnership, we acknowledge the huge opportunities, but also the challenges associated with virtualization, especially in terms of return on investment. By using our experience as a carrier-grade software connectivity solutions, we succeeded in combining routing and VPN technology with virtualization, in such a way that not only a fast time to market, but also a quick return on investment can be achieved. In the past two years, we have signed a significant number of telcos for virtualization, and we have more projects lined-up. We have also noted a strong interest from enterprises and our partners eco-system is constantly growing. NVF is not only "alive" but definitively kicking and healthy for the foreseeable future."

Berxel Photonics demos 106 Gbps VCSEL

Berxel Photonics demonstrated a 106 Gbps VCSEL powered 800G transceiver at this week's China International Optoelectronic Exposition in Shenzhen.

Berxel's 106 Gbps VCSEL powered 800G transceiver has successfully reached 100 meters OM4 transmission distance, with lower than 1E-8 Bit-error rates (BER) at 0°C – 70°C module case temperature, complying to IEEE standards. In addition, Berxel demonstrated 60-100 meters transmission over low-cost legacy OM2 and OM3 MMF fibers with low BER.

Berxel's 106 Gbps VCSEL is available now for customers' sampling. 

The 53 Gbps PAM4 per lane VCSEL array is in mass production phase for commercial use.


Tower Semiconductor signs up for Intel's New Mexico fab

Tower Semiconductor has agreed to will utilize Intel Foundry Service’s advanced manufacturing facility in New Mexico.

Under an agreement announced by the firms, Tower will invest up to $300 million to acquire and own equipment and other fixed assets to be installed in the New Mexico facility, providing a new capacity corridor of over 600,000 photo layers per month for Tower’s future growth, enabling capacity to support forecasted customer demand for 300mm advanced analog processing.

Intel will manufacture Tower’s highly differentiated 65-nanometer power management BCD (bipolar-CMOS-DMOS) flows, among other flows at Intel’s Fab 11X in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Stuart Pann, Intel senior vice president and general manager of Intel Foundry Services, said, “We launched Intel Foundry Services with a long-term view of delivering the world’s first open system foundry that brings together a secure, sustainable, and resilient supply chain with the best of Intel and our ecosystem. We’re thrilled that Tower sees the unique value we provide and chose us to open their 300mm U.S. capacity corridor.”

Tower CEO Russell Ellwanger said, “We are excited to continue working with Intel. As we look to the future, our primary focus is to expand our customer partnerships through high-scale manufacturing of leading-edge technology solutions. This collaboration with Intel allows us to fulfill our customers’ demand roadmaps, with a particular focus on advanced power management and radio frequency silicon on insulator (RF SOI) solutions, with full process flow qualification planned in 2024. We see this as a first step towards multiple unique synergistic solutions with Intel.”

Intel previously announced a $3.5 billion investment to expand operations in New Mexico and equip its Rio Rancho campus, one of its innovation hubs, for the manufacturing of advanced semiconductor packaging.


  • Intel's plan to acquire Tower Semiconductor was terminated in August as regulatory approvals could not be obtained in a timely manner, resulting in the payment of a termination fee of $353 million to Tower in adherence to the terms of the merger agreement.

Vodafone looks to Amazon’s Project Kuiper to extend rural reach

Vodafone and Vodacom plan to use Amazon's Project Kuiper’s network to extend the reach of 4G/5G services to more of their customers in Europe and Africa.

Under the partnership, Amazon and Vodafone intend to team up in the global distribution of Project Kuiper's high-speed broadband offerings to communities that lack or have limited access to such services. Moreover, the companies are examining the potential for further enterprise-specific features that provide comprehensive global connectivity solutions. These include backup services for unforeseen circumstances and the expansion of connectivity to remote infrastructure.

Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone Group Chief Executive, said: “Vodafone’s work with Project Kuiper will provide mobile connectivity to many of the estimated 40% of the global population without internet access, supporting remote communities, their schools and businesses, the emergency services, and disaster relief. These connections will be complemented further through our own work on direct-to-smartphone satellite services.”

“Amazon is building Project Kuiper to provide fast, affordable broadband to tens of millions of customers in unserved and underserved communities, and our flexible network means we can connect places that have traditionally been difficult to reach,” said Dave Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president for devices and services. “Teaming with a leading international service provider like Vodafone allows us to make a bigger impact faster in closing the digital divide in Europe and Africa. Together we’ll explore how we can help our customers get the most value from expanded connectivity, particularly in areas like residential broadband, agriculture, education, healthcare, transportation, and financial services.”


Mediacom goes for Nokia's XGS-PON

Mediacom, the 5th largest cable operator in the United States, will deploy Nokia’s XGS-PON systems and equipment, to support new geographical serving areas.

Mediacom, which offers broadband to 3.3 million homes and businesses in 22 states, will deploy Nokia’s chassis-based Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) and node-based OLTs. The chassis-based solution will be used in small, non-conditioned cabinets, while the node-based will be installed on strands or utility poles and capable of sustaining harsh outside plant environments. 

J.R. Walden, Senior Vice President Technology and CTO at Mediacom said: “Nokia is supplying Mediacom systems that deliver up to 25G PON today. Their platforms effectively support our services while allowing for future growth and expansion that will help Mediacom remain both a market and industry leader in advanced, high performance data services.”

David Eckard, VP of Broadband Partners at Nokia, said: “The United States is committed to ensuring that all Americans have access to the highest quality broadband services. Mediacom’s ambition to connect Rural America is critical to help bridge the digit divide in our communities, and Nokia is proud to have been selected as its partner. Through our onshoring of critical 10G fiber solutions and optical modules to the United States,  Nokia will be ready to support operators seeking funding, and to connect more people, sooner.