There’s a new blockbuster release now playing at the biggest optical venue of the year: OFC 2018. Like movies, there is a constant stream of new optical modules but this one is special. Why? It’s what’s inside that significant: Silicon Photonics. Long thought to be just science fiction, this is the real deal.
Silicon Photonics has been the talk of the town for years, but few have delivered on the promise. Juniper is the first vendor to integrate all of the photonic functions (lasers, modulators, photodetectors) into a single 100G silicon photonic integrated chip (PIC). Like the ubiquitous CMOS integrated circuit, the magic is in the in the integration and economies of scale.
Juniper’s SiPh technology leverages the same high-volume fab, packaging and test infrastructure used by today’s ASSP/ASIC industry. The net result? Optics with economics and volume capacity previously not possible with traditional discrete TOSA/ROSA optics.
There’s a lot to see at the Juniper booth but you’ll need to look close. The star of the show is what we call an “Opto-ASIC”: a complete 100GBASE-LR4 electro-optical transceiver packed into a single, conventional BGA package. No discrete optics, no gold boxes, no butterfly packages, no fiber splices.
Like any good BGA, our Opto-ASIC needs a home. Fortunately we have two. Here’s a view from the OFC show floor:
- A single-port 1x100G Ethernet transceiver in a QSFP28 module
- A dual-port 2x100G Ethernet transceiver in a QSFP28-DD module
While the Opto-ASIC is unique to Juniper, it is by no means proprietary. IEEE-compliant optical interfaces and standard MSA form factors ensure these optics can be used on any platform to connect to anyone. While the size may be small, the performance is anything but. High performance 100GBASE-LR4 optics enables 10km reach over standard single mode fiber.
Like any good movie franchise, this show is just the beginning. Stay tuned as Juniper’s gears up for the next chapter in the Silicon Photonics saga!