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Co-packaged optics (CPO) moved from hero experiments to discussions of commercial roadmaps this year. In multiple floor programs, Market Watch, and one-on-one briefings, vendors and operators discussed and debated the requirements and schedule for CPO’s introduction. Key points included:

  • Webscale operators made a compelling argument for the need for CPO.
  • The application space has expanded beyond L2/3 switching platforms to include AI/ML architectures.
  • CPO technology will be deployed initially in pluggable modules.
  • While standards and industry agreements are firming up, there are still a lot of options for CPO implementation.
  • Reduced system reliability due to CPOs remains a concern.
  • More companies are now pursuing CPO solutions, including some major industry players.
  • Competing implementations and technical challenges make it difficult to determine a timeline for introduction.
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