Feature: mid-reach

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The long and the short of it

Existing 100 Gig interfaces have reaches that are either too long and costly or too short - and web companies' demands have stirred a flurry of industry activity, with four optical module initiatives announced since the year's start. Cheaper 100 Gig mid-reach interfaces also promise to benefit telecoms, with wireless being one application already identified.

Optical module designers must reconcile two contradictory trends: data centres are getting larger, inevitably lengthening the links between systems, yet optical reach gets shorter with increasing channel speed.

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CableLabs is spearheading efforts to develop a proposal that uses coherent optics to dramatically boost the capacity of hybrid fibre coaxial networks, reports Andy Extance

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Systems vendors are using intelligent software to squeeze more performance from optical networks. Pauline Rigby reports on developments at OFC 2017