Another Savior of Data Center MM Fiber?

January, 2015

In addition to the development of longer-distance and higher-speed VCSELs, there is a possibility that in the long term, polymer waveguide material embedded in electronics could also help to extend the life of multimode fiber in data centers. Yet right now, the technology appears to be reminiscent of the use of silicon photonics with active components, but without the hype. As with SI photonics, the concept of these types of waveguides has been discussed for many years with the problem of loss being a major concern, and right now, the vast majority of dialog on the latter can be found almost exclusively in engineering papers and patent applications. An exception has been Dow Corning, which has for a while been making somewhat of a marketing push, such as at trade shows with its short-reach interconnects utilizing “low loss,” silicone-based polymer waveguides. Back in early 2013,...

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Silicon Photonics: Last Gasp of Hype

August, 2018

The optics industry is approaching 50 years since the concept of Silicon Photonics (SiPh) was mentioned for the first time. During an upsurge in excitement over the technology in 2014, we were accused by one or more prominent engineering executives in the space about having an agenda, after we expressed our doubts. As its use went to higher capacity, there was a movement away from monolithic devices, and eventually the tendency was for a lot of vendors to get carried away by calling any new solution, SiPh. For the purposes of this discussion, we will confine the definition to those chips, which have a modulator. We truly believe that the last large marketing buildup for SiPh involves the use of co-packaged optics. It has heavily been promoted by Facebook, and ironically appears to be the most difficult technical challenge to pull off to date before we expect SiPh to kind of burn itself...

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24 Tough Queries for Vendors/Users at ECOC 2018

September, 2018

Unfortunately, this writer will be unable to be in Rome, as I will be attending a much happier, personal event later in the week. fibeReality thought it might be a good idea to propose some hard-hitting questions that our loyal readers might consider asking suppliers at the annual hype-fest, just to shake things up, if nothing else. Here are 24 suggestions: 1.     To any supplier, associated with COBO, is it not time to move on to co-packaged optics, which although would not be easy to pull off, it would be a more practical means of accomplishing the chip-to-chip concept, if it ever does happen in the foreseeable future? 2.     For Macom, is it not a little disingenuous to say that lasers in your PICs are integrated, since the former cannot be accomplished with silicon photonics, and is the company adequately able to differentiate itself from products offered in a similar...

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