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Acacia unveils coherent ZR optics for access and edge applications

This week, at the NGON & DCI 2018 event in Nice, France, Acacia Communications announced general availability of their new high-speed coherent optical modules for ‘ZR’ applications. The new CFP and CFP2 pluggable modules are designed to meet the growing need for capacity in network access and edge applications.

The ZR specification supports the unamplified transmission over distances greater than 40km, typically out to 80km and sometimes beyond over singlemode fibre - to address demands for growing capacity in network access, edge, and enterprise campus applications.

“Traditionally, coherent optical transmission was primarily used for longer reach applications, but traffic patterns are changing in ways that are leading to the need for high capacity interconnects that target shorter reaches in a power efficient and cost effective manner. ZR optics address this need,” explained Tom Williams, senior director of marketing for Acacia Communications. “Acacia pioneered the coherent ZR offering with our industry first CFP-DCO form factor and our vision is to continue to expand the use of coherent technology in shorter reach applications.” 

The new offerings include a 100G/200G CFP2-DCO ZR and next-generation low power 100G CFP-DCO ZR, both enabled by Acacia’s proprietary digital signal processor (DSP) and silicon photonics technologies.

Acacia’s CFP-DCO ZR module is capable of supporting the 18W power class that was widely deployed for 10km client applications. Both modules provide high capacity and low power consumption and are designed to reduce the complexity, power usage and cost of high-bandwidth interconnects.

“Based on our experience with network operators, we see increasing demand for 100G and above in access aggregation markets,” said Jimmy Mizrahi, vice president, global portfolio with ECI. “We believe coherent 100G and 200G ZR solutions, in compact pluggable form factors, will be an attractive solution for network operators with requirements for reaches greater than 40km in applications such as 5G backhaul and cable access.”

Shorter reach applications are believed to be an emerging opportunity for coherent optical interconnects, and are receiving significant attention from industry standards organizations. Standards are under development for coherent ZR-class interfaces at 100G, 200G and 400G, adapting traditional 80km ZR requirements for coherent transmission. Applications ranging from the interconnection of hyperscale data centres to the aggregation of residential access networks and 5G backhaul are driving converging requirements for these coherent interfaces.


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