Infinera(NASDAQ: INFN) has revealed partnerships with II-VI Inc. (NASDAQ: IIVI) andLumentum (NASDAQ:LITE) to advance the development of optical transceivers basedon the systems house's XR optics technology. While the timeframe forcommercialization of such modules was not revealed initially, sources atInfinera tell Lightwave that products should be announced at some point thisyear.
XR opticstechnology made its debut at ECOC 2019 last September in Dublin. The technologyenables point-to-multipoint coherent transmission (see “Infinera unveils XR optics single-source coherentpoint-to-multipoint transmission technology"), leveraging Infinera'sInfinite Capacity Engine and what Infinera terms “coherent subcarrier aggregation"to enable Nyquist subcarriers or subcarrier bundles generated by a singlecoherent transmission source to be assigned to various endpoints. The approachwould significantly reduce the cost of hub-and-spoke architectures, Infinerabelieves.
As describedat the time, Infinera's strategy is to deliver XR optics in the form ofpluggable coherent modules that could be inserted into router ports. (XR opticsmodules would need to be positioned at both ends of the coherent transmission.)The company said it would seek partners to ensure both the development of suchmodules and multiple sources of them. Infinera itself had announced previouslythat it plans to get into the pluggable module space (see “Infinera offers Infinite Network pluggable coherent modulestrategy details"), making the company potentially one such source.
It appearsthat the collaboration could result in modules from all three partners. Whilethis conclusion wasn't clear from the original announcements, a source atLumentum responded via an email to a Lightwave query that "Our intentionis to develop and market the XR Transceiver as a 'Market Participant.' Bothparties plan to jointly bring new interoperable transceivers to market based onthe Infinera DSP Device and the Lumentum TROSA."
“Collaboratingwith Infinera leverages our deep experience in high-speed coherent componentsand pluggable modules to bring an innovative solution like XR optics tomarket," commented Beck Mason, senior vice president and general manager ofLumentum's Telecom Transmission Business, via Infinera's press releaseannouncing their partnership. “The XR optics concept aligns with our corestrategy to provide scalable and flexible coherent optical network solutionsthat enable higher speeds for next-generation transport networks."
A sourceat Infinera wrote via email that the company and its partners would support aseries of XR optics modules in a variety of form factors and with varioustransmission rates. "Specific product announcements along with features,form factors, and implementation will be announced later this year," thesource added.
A requestfor additional comment from II-VI remains unfulfilled. “We are looking forwardto leveraging our highly integrated laser technology platform, coupled with ourindustry-leading optics and module expertise, together with Infinera's coherentsubcarrier aggregation DSP and transmission expertise, to achievenext-generation coherent transceiver solutions," said Matthias Berger, vicepresident, Coherent Optics Business Unit, at II-VI, in the press release thatannounced the company's work with Infinera. “This collaboration will enable usto jointly deliver digital coherent optics in small pluggable form-factors andwith low power consumption."