Going Further, Faster at ECOC 2023

By Acacia | Posted on September 26, 2023

As the industry heads to Scotland for one of its flagship shows of the year, the Acacia team is getting ready to discuss the hottest trends and developments with our customers, partners and colleagues. Our own Tom Williams, Sr. Director of Marketing, will be kicking off the first day of ECOC with a Market Focus presentation titled “Coherent Optics – Changing architectures and emerging market segments.” In his presentation and throughout the show, you can expect to hear about terabit era optics, 400G pluggable deployments, the path to 800G and 1.6T pluggables, and continued advancements in interoperability.

400G Pluggables and Terabit Era Optics
The 400G coherent pluggable market has been the fastest growing coherent technology to date and, according to CignalAI, as of 2022, Acacia’s comprehensive 400G ZR/ZR+ portfolio is leading the market with 60% market share.

Acacia’s  Bright 400ZR+ QSFP-DD pluggable coherent optical module with high-transmit power is in high demand with a steady stream of trials and deployments. Leading up to ECOC, we saw Bright deployments announced from Arelion and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) and earlier this year, Vodafone Turkey and Sipartech announced their own Bright field trials.

While pluggables or router-based DCOs (Digital Coherent Optics) are becoming popular for requirements in DCI, metro and some long-haul applications, transponder-based coherent solutions are still being used for long-haul, ultra-long haul and subsea. Acacia’s performance optimized multi-haul coherent solutions have proven to be extremely effective for these applications. Our single carrier pluggable 1.2T Coherent Interconnect Module 8 (CIM 8), shipping since late 2022, is leading the industry into the Terabit Era. To date, we have seen record-breaking CIM 8 field trial announcements from Nysernet, China Mobile and Windstream Wholesale.  The CIM 8 enables these network operators to achieve the highest capacity and reach today while maximizing transmission data rate across a wide range of multi-haul network applications.

Defining the Path to 800G Pluggables
Following the explosive growth of 400G pluggables, next-generation switch/router ASICs are being introduced with 800G I/O port speeds, creating the need for 800G optical interfaces for DCI. Like the 400G MSA pluggable cycle, multiple standardization bodies such as OIF, Open ROADM and the IEEE are working in parallel to provide industry standards for 800G optical transmission and 800 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), helping to foster economies of scale. While module vendors are introducing the required technologies to enable low power 120+Gbaud solutions that would fit into small form-factor modules such as QSFP-DD and OSFP.

To meet customer needs and drive future adoption, it’s important for 800G coherent MSA pluggables to have several key features and capabilities including optical transmission, client traffic, low power consumption, and interoperable module management.  We believe the key functional requirements that operators are looking for to make this transition include:

  • Support for OIF 800ZR and high-performance interoperable Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS) modes
  • Multi-haul capable
  • High transmit (Tx) optical power option
  • 800GbE client traffic support
  • Multiplexing lower speed 100/200/400GbE electrical client traffic
  • Low power consumption
  • Coherent Common Management Interface Specification (C-CMIS) compliance

With the first 800G pluggable deployments expected in 2024, these future solutions can plug directly into switch/router ports to further drive adoption of IP-over-DWDM router-based optical network architectures.

Coherent Interoperability Participation:  OIF and OpenZR+ MSA
Continuing its commitment to building an industry-wide ecosystem, Acacia is excited to be participating in the OIF’s largest-ever multi-vendor interoperability event in booth #304 at ECOC. Come see our participation in the 400ZR+ optics and Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) implementations interoperability demonstrations.

In addition, Acacia has continued to play a key role as a member of the OpenZR+ Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Group. Leading up to ECOC, the group announced that it had published the OpenZR+ Rev 3.0 specification, which defines a higher performing 400G 8QAM mode as well as a higher transmit power mode. This new specification is designed to further expand the application space for OpenZR+ with new modes that can address longer reaches and a wider range of network architectures.

Come See Us!
If you are attending the show and want to connect, we’d welcome the opportunity to meet with you. Click here to set up a meeting. We hope to see you in Scotland.