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28 September 2011
 
Opnext hopes to be the first to deliver a 100Gbps optical module that’s compliant with the framework set down by the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) for long-haul optical transmission.  The company formally introduced the new product at ECOC, and expects to start mass production in the first quarter of next year.
 
 The OTM-100 is a fully integrated 100Gbps optical transponder in a 5 inch by 7 inch pluggable module. Aimed at metro, long-haul, ultra-long-haul and submarine optical transport systems, it can be installed on links that were designed around 10Gbps engineering rules, as well as on newer links that don’t use dispersion compensation, the company says.
 
Inside the module are the optics for single-wavelength dual-polarisation quadrature phase shift keying (DP-QPSK) modulation and coherent detection with the digital signal processor supplied by NTT Electronics Corp. of Japan. Opnext says this is its second-generation 100Gbps technology, which will deliver size, performance and power advantages over the previous generation and the alternatives on the market.
 
Today the 100Gbps optical transceiver market is dominated by network equipment makers (NEMs) building line cards out of discrete optical components, but Opnext believes that will start to change quite soon.  “Initially it makes sense [for NEMs to build their own transceivers] because it’s strategic, but as time goes by they will want to buy from someone who can amortise the cost of development over the whole of the industry,” said Avid Lemus, product strategy director at Opnext.
 
Opnext expects the OTM-100 to sample by year end with production starting in April 2012.
 
By Pauline Rigby