20 March 2017
Source Photonics and MACOM demo 53Gbaud PAM-4 optical link with compact TOSA and ROSA
In booth #3011 at the Optical Fiber Comminications trade show (OFC 2017) in Los Angeles (21-23 March), MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc of Lowell, MA, USA (which makes semiconductors, components and subassemblies for optical, wireless and satellite networks) and optical transceiver firm Source Photonics Inc of West Hills, CA, USA are giving a 53Gbaud PAM-4 demonstration with a 6dB loss budget using a compact transmitter optical sub-assembly (TOSA) and receiver optical sub-assembly (ROSA) capable of supporting single-lambda 100G in a QSFP28 form factor.
Intense industry demand for lower cost and higher density is driving the shift to single-wavelength 100G PAM-4 technology for cloud data-center applications, and MACOM’s collaboration with Source Photonics demonstrates that the ecosystem for 53 Gbaud PAM-4 components is quickly expanding to meet these requirements. Single-lambda 100G architecture is expected to revolutionize network connectivity inside the data center for the next decade.
The demonstration confirms that 53Gbaud PAM-4 PHYs can enable a production-grade electro-absorption modulated laser (EML) to do the work of four 25G NRZ lasers; substantially improving the scalability of 100G transceivers as well as providing the building blocks for duplex single-mode fiber for 400G small-form-factor modules. PAM-4 technology will pave the way for the next generation of 100G and 400G transceiver modules, enabling explosive growth in data centers, it is reckoned.
The demonstration consists of MACOM’s 16nm 56Gbaud PAM4 PHY IC on an evaluation board driving an optical loop back through a Source Photonics TOSA and ROSA. The small-form-factor TOSA package developed by Source Photonics uses its internal 53Gbaud EML laser, which operates at more than a 3dB improvement over the proposed 100GBASE-DR OMA specification.
“MACOM is uniquely bringing to bear the proven cost structure, capacity and supply chain flexibility that is enabling the upgrade from 10G to 100G to 400G and beyond within cloud data centers,” says Chris Collins, director of product marketing at MACOM. “We have delivered a first-of-its-kind 53Gbaud PAM4 demonstration with a compact TOSA and ROSA, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Source Photonics to deliver innovative solutions to our cloud data-center customers,” he adds.
“This is an exciting demonstration which we believe will enable additional 400G solutions such as 2km FR4 as well as enable capacity improvements in 100G production,” says Source Photonics’ chief technology officer Mark Heimbuch.
This first-of-its-kind 53Gbaud PAM-4 demonstration, with a compact TOSA and ROSA combination, operates below the KP4 FEC requirement with a 6dB loss budget. Source Photonics and MACOM reckon that, with these results, they have taken a critical step towards realizing a commercial single-lambda solution that can replace many of the four-channel solutions currently entering the market.