Acacia Communications offers coherent 100G metro CFP optical transceiver

Posted on Sep 26, 2013 in Industry News, News

Having been first to market with a transponder for coherent 100G long-haul applications (see “Acacia Communications details 100-Gbps coherent optical module”), Acacia Communications will repeat that achievement in the metro with a pluggable 100G coherent CFP transceiver. The AC-100 CFP optical transceiver leverages the company’s in-house DSP and integration expertise to meet the demand for a lower-cost option for metro fiber-optic networks.

Besides its smaller size and lower power than a standard OIF MSA transponder, as well as its pluggability, salient features of the AC-100 CFP include:

  • Built-in framing and OTN functionality, which enables the use of client CFP slots as long-haul interfaces
  • Support for the 80-km unamplified ZR application, an ability Acacia asserts is unique among commercial 100G transceivers
  • What Acacia asserts is superior tolerance to fiber impairments and ROADM filtering.

“Our new solution enables cost-sensitive metro network operators to move to 100G and achieve significant performance and capacity benefits,” said Acacia Communications President and CEO Raj Shanmugaraj, via a press release. “Cost, power, and size are critical and to date the service providers have been forced to stay with 10G or 40G levels of performance. Our new 100G coherent CFP module leverages our co-development of ASIC and module hardware/software and, coupled with efficient photonic integration, offers carriers optimal flexibility. Coherent CFP is a technology game changer and our AC-100 CFP is the first to market.”

“CFP is a standardized common interface in transport, packet optical, and router equipment. Enabling single wavelength coherent 100G PM-QPSK in a CFP form factor provides a compelling metro network solution,” offered Daryl Inniss, vice president and practice leader of components at Ovum via the same release. “Moving from 10G to 100G requires a module that can achieve multi-vendor interoperability across gear like routers, switches, and transmission equipment, and also be flexible to support driving down the costs and power demands.”

Shanmugaraj told Lightwave that the AC-100 CFP should begin sampling by the end of this year. Meanwhile, the company is hard at work on a 100G coherent transceiver in the smaller CFP2 form factor. While several module vendors have discussed the attractiveness of a CFP2 design in which the DSP chip resides on the host board rather than in the module – a DSP ASIC could support multiple optical transceivers, for example – Acacia believes that carriers will prefer the flexibility enabled by a CFP2 with an integrated DSP. Thus, Acacia will pursue an integrated “digital” CFP2 design.