Pluggables: Their role in coherent technology evolution
By Patricia Bower – In the optical networking industry, pluggable client optical modules are a dominant trend for very short links within buildings and campus networks. Market economics that have driven the proliferation of these pluggables include factors such as simplicity, interoperability and volume-driven cost. And in the domain of short-reach (sub-10km), point-to-point fiber optic connections, the advantages listed above for using small form-factor, pluggable modules shine through.
This is particularly so in the case where transport of high-speed Ethernet client signals is the primary requirement. Connectivity within and between data centers has grown at a very rapid rate over the last few years, both from the perspective of transmission speed and number of connections. The use of optical signaling to transport these high-speed Ethernet signals has proven to be very efficient.
The optical networking industry has a well-established and large ecosystem of vendors bringing small form-factor client modules to market. Many of these are supported by MSAs (Multi-Source Agreements) which can be one of two types; those that define optical transmission specifications and those that define mechanical forms.
More recently, the data rates supported by pluggable form factors have increased. The 100G Lambda MSA group, of which Ciena is a member, has exhibited live demonstrations of interoperable Ethernet modules from member companies. The 100G Lambda MSA specifies 100Gb/s over 2km and 10km of single-mode fiber (SMF), and 400 Gb/s links over 2km of SMF. These modules will be based on the use of PAM-4 coding to get to a data rate of 100Gbps per wavelength. more>
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