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Since its emergence in the late 2000s, coherent technology has undergone several transitions. First it went from 40G to 100G, then from hard-decision forward error correction (FEC) to soft-decision FEC, and finally from single-rate interfaces to flexible-rate interfaces with additional modulation schemes such as 8QAM (150 Gb/s) and 16QAM (200 Gb/s). 

With no end in sight to the traffic growth from video, cloud, and DCI, and with the full impact of 5G yet to be felt, network operators need to scale capacity cost-effectively while minimizing power consumption and footprint. To address this need, optical vendors are evolving coherent optics technology with ever-higher baud rates, first to ~60-70 Gbaud with 600G generation coherent, and now to ~90-100 Gbaud with 800G generation coherent, with even higher baud rates expected to follow.

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