Coherent announcements and roadmaps at the show focused on two themes: lowering the power of coherent technology for use in pluggable applications and increasing baud rates to raise the maximum capacity of a single wavelength beyond 600Gbps. And despite few new ROADM announcements, there was a spirited debate about future ROADM architectures.
Each year at OFC, we have the valuable opportunity to hear from the network operators themselves to better understand their vision for the future network. This year, there were some excellent presentations and discussions involving operators from several network verticals – Incumbents, Cable MSOs, and of course the ever-expanding cloud and colocation operators.
Compact Modular Equipment took center stage at OFC 2018. News included speed upgrades to existing systems, the emergence of new switch/router variants, and open line systems designed to address the growing interest in optical hardware disaggregation.
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Cignal AI’s recent Optical Customer Markets Report discovered an unexpected weakness in 2017 optical transport equipment spending from cloud & colo operators (see Cignal AI Reports Unexpected Drop in Cloud and Colo Spending). This surprising trend was then further supported by public comments later made by Juniper and Applied Optoelectronics, prompting us to examine the situation in greater detail.
100G and the Road to 400G
The transition to 100G network speeds inside the data center is underway at every major hyperscale operator simultaneously, creating major industry bottlenecks. Despite QSFP28 being supply constrained, component and equipment suppliers are also trying to align on the next generation format for 400G operation. Cignal AI’s key takeaways from OFC…