Besides the already established analog coherent optics (ACO) approach for CFP pluggable optical transceivers, OIF members decided,in the last Q3 meeting in Quebec City (Canada) to re-focus on the development of digital coherent optics (DCO) module. The main difference between them is that the ACO achieves higher face plate density and lower power consumption by keeping the DSP-ASIC outside the module whereas the DCO approach assumes that both the analog optics and the high-speed electronics should be inside the module (thus providing a digital interface for the client side). Who is the winner?
Indeed, the ACO by far offers the best system flexibility where the application is solely dependent on what the DSP-ASIC can handle in terms of bit rate. However, the DSP ASIC is another potential headache for those vendors that do not care about reconfigurability. Besides those two module based strategies, a third candidate has just appeared to compete with the CFPx: integrated coherent transmitter-receiver optical sub-assembly (IC-TROSA), where the main idea is to integrate basic functionalities such as modulators and receivers inside the same package. This scheme provides, by far, the best face plate density, power budget and system reconfigurability to design the line cards. What about the technology readiness? Let’s wait and see.
For more info, check http://www.oiforum.com/technical-work/current-oif-work/