Acacia Introduces Two New 400G QSFP-DD Pluggable Coherent Optical Modules That Further Expand Optical Transceiver Applications

By Acacia | Posted on March 3, 2022

 50,000 Ports Shipped of Greylock Digital Signal Processor Powering Acacia’s Comprehensive 400G Portfolio

Today, Acacia, now part of Cisco, is adding to its award-winning, comprehensive portfolio of 400G coherent pluggable solutions, based on its Greylock 7nm Digital Signal Processor (DSP), with the new Bright 400ZR+ and ER1 400G pluggable coherent optical modules.  Early adopters of Acacia’s 400G pluggable product family have been driving strong demand that has resulted in over 50,000 port shipments, with more than 20,000 shipped during Cisco’s second fiscal quarter for the period ending January 29, 2022. The aggressive ramp of these products has been faster than any previous coherent technology generation. Early demand has been largely driven by metro DCI use cases, but service providers are actively working to deploy this technology in a wide range of applications. With these new modules, Acacia has developed a portfolio of solutions that further address the varying needs of network operators, while driving economies of scale on a common technology platform.


The 400G coherent pluggable market is one of the most important developments today in optical networking.  Analysts such as Cignal AI have stated that sales of 400ZR and OpenZR+ are ramping rapidly, while Heavy Reading’s Sterling Perrin claims that “The advent of coherent pluggable optics at 400G is one of the key enablers that was needed to propel IP and optical integration into the mainstream.”

New Modules Expand 400G QSFP-DD Applications and Reduce Cost, Power Consumption and Network Complexity for Network Operators
The Bright 400ZR+ QSFP-DD pluggable coherent optical module with high optical performance is designed for seamless deployment in ROADM line systems.

For customers primarily targeting filtered (AWG-based DWDM) point-to-point applications, the 400ZR and OpenZR+ modules are an effective pluggable solution. Acacia’s Bright QSFP-DD module is designed to expand the applications for this technology by addressing a variety of ROADM architectures such as those with colorless multiplexing. With greater than 0dBm transmit optical power and high transmit OSNR, the Bright 400ZR+ gives network operators more flexibility to address a range of brownfield and greenfield applications utilizing the high-density QSFP-DD form factor.

“Colt has successfully deployed 400G ZR+ on our IQ Network packet router backbone. High launch power 400G ZR+ optics, would be an important step change for IPoDWDM deployments. This would enable IPoDWDM uses cases in meeting optical requirements of ROADM based optical solutions and brownfield deployments,” said Danny Pinto, Associate Director, Packet Networks Engineering at Colt.

The Bright 400ZR+ QSFP-DD module also supports OTN framing that can enable circuit emulation and pseudowire functionality over packet networks, offering even greater flexibility for network operators who want to deploy this pluggable technology.

“Products like Acacia’s high transmission power QSFP-DD modules and third-party vendor agnostic SDN could open the door for deeper packet and optical integration in Telco Networks,” says Juan Pedro Fernandez-Palacios, Head of Transport at Telefonica CTIO.

For Upgrading From 100G to 400G with 40 km Reach
The 400G ER1 QSFP-DD pluggable coherent optical module has a rich feature set including client multiplexing and interoperability based on both OIF and OpenZR+ protocols. Acacia’s ER1 400G module is a cost effective and flexible solution for unamplified 40 km point-to-point applications in access, campus and 5G network applications.

Leveraging Proven Expertise
To develop its new 400G QSFP-DD modules, Acacia leveraged its proven expertise in optical integration and packaging. Acacia’s expertise with high-performance silicon PICs and low power DSPs has helped to enable the introduction of 3D Siliconization. Acacia’s 3D Siliconization applies integration and 3D stacking techniques to enable a single device that includes all the high speed opto-electronic functions necessary for coherent communications. This device, which includes the DSP, photonic integrated circuitry, drivers and TIAs, is manufactured using standard electronics packaging processes. Advantages of 3D Siliconization include the reduction of electrical inter-connects while improving signal integrity, resulting in improvements in performance, cost, reliability, power, and size.

For more information on Acacia’s full line of 400G coherent pluggables, please visit our products page or contact us to schedule a meeting at OFC at this link.