The State of 5th Generation Optics

2019 has been a year of great progress in coherent optical technology. Notable achievements this year include:

  • Over 30,000 400Gbps-capable coherent optical ports are expected to be shipped by Ciena this year.
  • Infinera, Cisco and others began to deploy 600Gbps optics from Acacia.
  • 600Gbps optics based on NTT Electronics DSP technology was demonstrated by Infinera and also deployed by Fujitsu.
  • Vendors announced upcoming products based on 1.2Tbps channels, probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS), and subcarrier modulation.
  • The imminent availability of 5th generation 800Gbps optics.

All this activity can make it difficult to keep track of the current state of the industry. In this article, we briefly cover the recent developments as 2019 ends, including:

  • A short background on complex modulation to establish terms and technologies.
  • An overview of the market status of 5th generation coherent optics.
    • Ciena Wavelogic 5 Extreme
    • Infinera ICE6
    • Huawei H7 oDSP
    • Others: Nokia, Acacia, ZTE
  • Brief descriptions and analysis of recent announcements by Acacia (AC1200-SC2), Infinera (XR Optics), and Huawei and Neophononics (Extended C-Band)
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