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How Do Optical Transceiver Vendors Differentiate Their Transceiver Design?

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In order to get a bigger share of the market. Optical transceiver vendors are challenged in how to differentiate their optical transceiver design and give the products conform to common form factors. To understand the importance of transceiver differentiation, it is worth reviewing the purpose of multi-source agreement (MSA) transceiver form factors.

Common form factors arose so that optical equipment makers could avoid developing their own interfaces or being locked into a supplier’s proprietary design. Judged in those terms, MSAs have been a roaring success. Equipment makers can now buy optical intoptical transceiver designerfaces from several sources, all battling for the design win. MSAs have also triggered a near-decade of innovation, resulting in form factors from the 300-pin large form factor transponder MSA to the pluggable SFP+, less than a 60th its size.

But MSAs, with their dictated size and electrical interfaces, are earmarked for specific sectors. As such the protocols, line rates, and distances they support are largely predefined. Little scope, then, for differentiation. Yet vendors have developed ways to stand out. One approach is to be a founding member of an MSA. This gives the inner circle of vendors a time-to-market advantage in securing customers for emerging standards. The CFP MSA for 40- and 100-Gigabit Ethernet is one such example.

Some designs required specialist optical components that only a few vendors have, such as high-speed VCSELs used for the latest Fibre Channel interfaces. In turn, many vendors don’t have the resources—design teams and the deep pockets—needed to develop advanced technologies, such as those for 40- and 100-Gbps transponders, whether it is integrated optical devices or integrated circuits.

Being the first to integrate existing designs into smaller form factors is another way to differentiate oneself. An example is JDSU, which has integrated a tunable laser into the pluggable XFP MSA. Fiberstore also then launched tunable XFP which features with tunable and multi-protocol functions in order to further expand the product lineup of the 10G optical transceiver modules.

Optical transceiver vendors are also differentiating their products through marketing approaches. New-entrant Far Eastern vendors are selling optical transceivers directly to service providers and data center operators, bypassing equipment makers. They are also looking to differentiate on price, cutting costs where they can (including R&D) and focusing on bread-and-butter designs. They are quite happy to leave the leading vendors to make the heavy investments and battle each other in the emerging 40- and 100-Gbps markets.

Some people think differentiation doesn’t matter so much for optical transceivers since even if a vendor gets a lead, others inevitable will follow. And anyway, the cost of transporting traffic is still too high evenoptical transceiver market with the fierce competition instigated by MSAs. In turn, optical transceivers are now a permanent industry fixture and they can’t be conjured to disappear.

For optical transceiver vendors, however, the result is a market that is brutal. So can optical transceiver vendors differentiate their products? Of course they can. FS.COM (Fiberstore), a company devoting on the research & development, and offering fiber connectivity network solutions for carriers, ISPs, content providers and networks, is the global market innovator and application technology pioneer in the field of optical network devices and interconnection. In the future, they seem to change this market.

100G Optical Transceivers Will Be More Popular in 2016

According to a newly published report by Dell’Oro Group, the worldwide service provider core router market is expected to reach $3.4 billion in revenue in 2020 as 100G port shipments spur growth. There is a significant increase in deployments of 100G ports, driven by the continuous increase in IP traffic as well as the availability of higher capacity line cards in 2015. Besides, pricing declined significantly in 2015 for 100G as there was a mix shift in the types of routers on which 100G ports were installed. Furthermore, the availability of advanced optics in CFP2 and CPAK has pushed down pricing on 100G. Therefore, we expect 100G optical transceivers will be more and more popular in 2016.

100G Optical Transceiver Modules: from CFP to QSFP28
At present market, the 100G optical transceiver module include CXP, CFP, CFP2, CPAK, CFP4 and QSFP28. Among them, QSFP28 demonstrates its great superiority and will lead to denser optics and further price reductions. The QSFP28 increases front-panel density by 250% over QSFP+. The increase in panel density is even more dramatic when compared to some of the other 100G transceiver module: 450% versus the CFP2 and 360% versus the CPAK. In addition, the surge of QSFP28 shipments will be one of the factors to change the market from 40G to 100G, according to the report of IHS. QSFP28 is fast becoming the universal data center form factor.

100G Optical Transceiver Module

100G Optical Transceiver Module Is Much Cheaper Than Before
The cost for transceiver modules which keep adding up over time is one of the main considerations of the whole projects. In other word, the cost of the devices and components may influence the enthusiasm of network upgrade. But, in 2016, the 100G transceivers will be more affordable. On one hand, the cheap 100G silicon reaches production and the technology become mature. On the other hand, the adoption of widespread use of the 100G devices, and the vast increases in Internet traffic are core to change in the communications infrastructure markets. This reduction in pricing will lead to 100 GE selling at a price per bit transmitted below that of 10 GE in the 2018 time frame.

100G Optical Transceiver Module Is More Widely Used
Previously, 100G was primarily installed on high-end core routers and now more are being installed on relatively lower-priced edge routers, which pricing declined significantly reduces the price of 100G optical transceiver. In 2016, the global data center construction market will keep growing which means that the 100G optics application will be more wider. Geographically, North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific (mainly China) are the main market for 100G transceiver with their increasing demand for deployment of 100G equipment.

Fiberstore 100G Optical transceiver Solution
In 2015, FS.COM constantly improves the product line of fiber optic transceivers. For 100G optics, we introduced the 100GBASE-LR4 CFP2 and CFP4 modules as well as the 100GBASE-SR4 and 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 modules. With our serious cost control, the prices of all our 100G optics are much more affordable than the similar products in the market. Furthermore, with the mature coding technology, they can be compatible with many major brands.

FS Part Number Product Photo Description
CFP-LR4-100G CFP-LR4-100G 100GBASE-LR4 CFP 1310nm 10km Transceiver for SMF
CFP2-LR4-100G CFP2-LR4-100G 100GBASE-LR4 CFP2 1310nm 10km Transceiver for SMF
CFP4-LR4-100G CFP4-LR4-100G 100GBASE-LR4 CFP4 1310nm 10km Transceiver for SMF
QSFP28-SR4-100G QSFP28-SR4-100G 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 850nm 100m Transceiver for MMF
QSFP28-LR4-100G QSFP28-LR4-100G 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 1310nm 10km Transceiver for SMF