Ekinops introduces CFP2-based 400G transport solution

Ekinops has introduced its new PM_400FR05-C2A pluggable module for the Ekinops360 WDM optical transport system.

This new line card is the first coherent module from Ekinops based on 400G pluggable line interfaces, which offer lower cost, lower power coherent solutions compared to high-performance embedded optics.

Since their debut in 2021, pluggable 400G transceivers have been quickly adapted for use in communications networks. Though initially designed for short reach data center connectivity, newer versions with higher optical launch powers are now being deployed in broader applications, including metro and regional service provider transport networks. According to market research firm Cignal AI, these transceivers will represent more than 20% of all 100G+ telecom bandwidth deployed in 2022, growing to 30% by 2024. “400G pluggable optics are revolutionizing the optical communications market by creating more flexible high-performance networks at lower cost for both data center and traditional telco operators,” said Scott Wilkinson, Lead Analyst for Optical Components at Cignal AI. “This performance and cost saving provide a compelling case for all network operators to consider pluggable coherent optics-based network designs, and deployments based on these modules will lead coherent bandwidth growth in optical networking for the next several years.”

The PM_400FR05-C2A provides multiple client options capable of supporting either 100GbE or OTU4 as well as 400GbE connectivity. The line interface is programmable from 100G to 400G. As a standards-based solution, the PM_400FR05-C2A is fully interoperable with other third-party compliant interfaces, making it easy and inexpensive for service providers to interconnect switch/router ports. While most pluggable 400G optics are limited to point-to-point connectivity only, the PM_400FR05-C2A is also deployable on meshed optical networks with multi-point connectivity, a key differentiator that significantly expands the scope of potential applications.

“As a line card-based solution, the PM_400 FR05-C2A provides a strict demarcation point between not only service provider and customer networks but also the packet and optical networks so that it fits seamlessly into the service providers’ operational model,” said Guillaume Crenn, Product Line and Marketing Director at Ekinops. “Because most switches and routers out there today cannot support a 400G transceiver directly, Ekinops’ approach saves customers from having to upgrade their packet infrastructure.” Compatible with all existing Ekinops chassis, Ekinops customers can not only avoid the cost of upgrading routers but also avoid adding new transport infrastructure while still taking advantage of the small size, low power and low cost of pluggable solutions without sacrificing performance.

Another differentiator is the availability of an optional Ekinops proprietary enhanced performance mode that extends the reach of the line output more than 20% compared to standardized modes of performance. Advanced transmission technology developed by Ekinops provides a cleaner transmission signal that can eliminate the need for additional amplifiers and regeneration points to further lower overall network cost.

The PM_400FR05-C2A is already attracting customer interest. It is currently in lab trials with general availability beginning in the first quarter of 2023.

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