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ColorChip demos 100GBASE QSFP28 iLR4 CWDM transceiver

ColorChip demos 100GBASE QSFP28 iLR4 CWDM transceiver

March 11, 2014
Lightwave Staff 

ColorChip Ltd. plans to demonstrate a 100-Gbps (4×25 Gbps) high-speed optical transceiver for data center, high-performance computing, and enterprise applications at OFC 2014 this week. The transceiver is implemented in a pluggable quad small form-factor (QSFP28) package and operates via singlemode fiber over a 2-km reach.

The first of its kind according to ColorChip, the transceiver leverages ColorChip’s hybrid SystemOnGlass (SOG)technology to deliver compact 4xN Gbps TOSA and ROSA optical engines with nested CWDM functionality. By using uncooled directly modulated lasers, the transceiver delivers typical power consumption below 3.5 W, in compliance with the smallest industry-standard footprint.

Combining ColorChip’s optical engine approach with optically multiplexed CWDM transceivers makes it possible to use inexpensive standard singlemode fiber in place of costly ribbon fiber, allowing a proven path to a reduced total cost of ownership, the company says.

“What the industry needs in order to go full throttle is a technology that is based on a single high-density form-factor applicable for all link length applications. Only then can system designers and customers feel confident to invest in an interface that will be wildly adopted across the industry,” said Karen Liu, principle analyst at Ovum. “It’s been clear since early on that the industry prefers the QSFP form factor for both 40G and 100G. 40G Ethernet went directly to this form-factor and made it look easy. In contrast, optics suppliers and their customers have put themselves through all sorts of contortions to deal with 100G challenges. That ColorChip is now pursuing an elegant and simple approach to a standardized QSFP28 interface is a heartening sign.

“The emergence of 100G QSFP28 marks the real start of the 100G Ethernet era,” she added.

ColorChip has partnered with M/A-COM Technology Solutions (MACOM) for the OFC demo, choosing MACOM’s 100G chipset incorporating a direct-modulation laser driver, transimpedance amplifier, and CDR re-timer. This chipset was selected based on its simultaneous attributes of low power consumption, high performance, and smallest available footprints, ColorChip says.

“MACOM is excited to be a supplier of key electronics components to ColorChip’s 100-Gbps demonstration,” said Marek Tlalka, director of marketing for MACOM. “The combination of MACOM’s low-power electronics with ColorChip’s CWDM photonic integrated circuits delivers small form factor, low power, and long reach interconnect over a single fiber pair – a solution needed by ever-growing data centers.”

ColorChip’s 100G transceiver demonstration will take place by invitation only at the company’s Booth #3251 during OFC 2014, March 11-13, in San Francisco, CA.