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Optical PAM-4 Restricted to 500 Meters?

April, 2015

Our company is always inclined to look towards historical precedent for guidance, and electronics have continually been leveraged throughout the years to bail out optics, such as with its imperfections including nonlinearities, as well as with its cost in enabling greater simplification. So, our initial response would be to look in favor towards a solution like DSP-based PAM -4 for that relatively small segment of the data center market, which is gradually moving to higher data rates using single-mode fiber. Nevertheless, although these optics are being advertised to reach as long as two kilometers, it appears that technical restrictions could confine it to only a quarter of that length. The biggest advantage of using the sophisticated electronics in PAM-4 is that it allows for fewer lasers. Consequently, it facilitates the use of a less complicated optical multiplexer. PAM-4 suppliers, ...

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400GbE Spectacular Fantasy

April, 2015

At least in fantasy football, the actions are based on activities that genuinely exist in the present world. At a time when the telecom/datacom optical market is arguably as bad as ever, it is unseemly for a relatively large amount of capital to be spent on engineers traipsing around the globe developing standards based on technology that is not real or proven. Using history as a guide, the lion’s share of the individuals attending these meetings will never see 400GbE in volume while they are still on the job. While we complimented Finisar in our last blog article for advocating NRZ, why did it seemingly take anyone on the IEEE P802.3bs 400 GbE Task Force a year to formerly bring up something so fundamental – the advantage of using existing lanes in achieving higher data rates (for example, 4x10G, 4x25G)? It apparently took the same vendor the same amount of time to be the first to prese ...

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Inphi a Threat to InnoLight or Kaiam?

August, 2015

Once again, we have a natural affinity for the proposition of taking advantage of electronics, such as higher order modulation, to better enable optics by squeezing more data onto a single wavelength. However, by the time, Inphi is ready to ramp up production fully on its four-level pulse amplitude modulation devices, both InnoLight Technology and Kaiam will have sold a large quantity of their optical-centric componentry to both hyperscale Data Center (DC) operators as well as to OEM providers. Hopefully, within this time, Kaiam will have joined its direct competitor in filing for an IPO (assuming a certain amount of stabilization in the stock market) by stressing the former, sexier types of customers, “Google Plus,” forgive the pun. So, in effect, to whatever extent Inphi has success with PAM-4, for all intents and purposes, it will perhaps indefinitely, likely be more of a situation ak ...

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Inphi/ClariPhy: Solider Acquisition Aspirant

January, 2017

fibeReality believes that the factor that makes Inphi the most attractive as a buyout candidate is its recent purchase of ClariPhy Communications. With PAM4 technology yet to be sold in any kind of volume by any vendor, Inphi can potentially provide the necessary engineering and financial resources to fully develop a high-end coherent DSP to the merchant market that would provide an alternative to Acacia Communications, which has been able to monopolize the space. As we have discussed in the past, the lack of a second supplier makes differentiation highly problematic for those system vendors, which do not internally develop their own DSPs for these applications. Assuming that NEL does not come out with its own version of this kind of processor, which would be a compelling competitive solution, a duopoly situation would also help ensure that any kind of pricing wars would be kept to a min ...

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