BLOG

More 400G Insanity at ECOC

October, 2015

At the recent ECOC Exhibition 2015, there was the continuation of the prevailing optical industry’s preposterous, public narrative that the deployment of 400G is within sight. There can be no doubt that in the foreseeable future that there will be an extremely small number of ports at that data rate found on routers, and perhaps even in data centers, and many analysts and reporters in the market can be counted on to disingenuously declare that the market for that speed has really arrived. Nevertheless, in looking at the current migration path and the historic pace of change, it is quite logical that volume deployment of 400G even within 20 years could easily be a stretch, and that it may be so far out as to be irrelevant in current transport planning by both service providers and large enterprises for future bandwidth requirements. When it came to the aberration of aberrations, the Inter ...

Read More

100G PSM4 Pricing at $2/Gig and Lower

March, 2017

At the Rump Session at OFC 2017, the topic for debate will be “Sub $0.25/Gbps Optics; How and When will Fiber Finally Kill Copper Cable Interconnects in the Data Center (DC)?” One of the questions for discussion will be “What happened to the $1/Gbps optics cost target for switch interconnects?” As it turns out, our intelligence gathering indicates that the prices being offered by a couple of vendors on PSM4 are even more aggressive than we indicated in a blog article in May of last year. Purchasers of our Clash of Optical Component Vendors & Technologies in Data Center Networks report have already received our detailed explanation as to Intel’s pricing and actual product strategy with their “silicon photonics,” which points to as low as $190 a unit for a high-volume purchase. We also understand that Luxtera has dropped the price of its PSM4s to $200. We believe that despite any excessive ...

Read More

Finisar: New VCSEL Opportunities Possible

August, 2018

In June, this writer was honored to be a keynote speaker at EPIC’s meeting on “Singlemode vs Multimode Communication” in Kessel-Lo, Belgium. Our preliminary judgement is that we are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for Multimode Fiber (MMF) deployment growth within hyperscale data center operators. It is significantly based on the assumption that in striving to lessen latency and lower power dissipation, Microsoft’s plan to flatten its network by ultimately replacing the top-of-rack switch with a passive patch panel, and use MMF to connect the end/middle-of-row switch to a rack of wheel with servers, is adopted by all of the major hyperscale players. Obviously, such a transition would be good news to the two major, short-reach VCSEL transceiver vendors, Finisar and Foxconn Technology Group. However, given the delays that have become recently evident at the former in ramping up i ...

Read More

The Case for 4x50-Gig Indeterminately

August, 2018

While fibeReality is willing to double down on our wakeup call to the hyperscale data center operators on the need for them to help reconstruct an optical ecosystem for development efforts on 4x100GbE for the long term, and for 50G in the short term, it is important to take a step back on what they could actually live with -- for an indefinite period of time. In the past, we have consistently not only pointed out the technical difficulties in moving to higher data rates, but cases in which we believed executives at these big private networks were disingenuous in suggesting they lacked the means of adaptability in a capacity crunch. Also, when fibeReality saw the initial unviable schemes produced by standards bodies for 400GbE, we were an early advocate for moving down to working on a more conservative 200GbE standard. Moreover, although there is an undeniable enigma associated with stran ...

Read More

Intel Renews Hyperscale Optic Machination

October, 2018

According to fibeReality’s newest intelligence, we have never been more persuaded that Intel is selling optical components to hyperscale data center operators below cost, while the vendor has very little confidence it can achieve profitability, as a result of sufficient volume. Ever since the supplier had started offering quantity discounts to the space with PSM4 devices (and then later with CWDM4 hardware), we have believed that it has played a major role in bombing pricing, which in due course, led to the devastation of the optics ecosystem. We have also received information that even when Intel was running its Optical Platform Division, before divesting those assets last decade, that it had a clear inclination to treat these sales no better than it would loss leaders. For example, we understand there was irreparable damage to the 40G SFP market, when Intel aggressively undercut the pr ...

Read More