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5 March 2021 Global insights into the key technology enabling the exponential growth of digital communication networks
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Abstract
The state of the art of fiber-optic communication technologies has advanced dramatically over the past 25 years. The highest capacity of commercial fiber-optic links available in the 1990s was only 2.5-10 Gb/s while today they can carry up to 800 Gb/s. The last decade of developments have enabled higher efficiency digital communication systems and solved problems with degraded signals. Optical transceivers are widely used in server network cards, switches, routers and wireless base station equipment in a variety of network architectures and applications. The new form factors are increasingly universal and designed to reduce their size and thus power consumption. Inside modules the optics and integrated circuits are getting closer together. Therefore, silicon photonics might represent a key enabling technology for further development of optical interconnect solutions needed to address growing traffic. This technology will play an important role in 500 m – 80 km distance applications. Industry is working on heterogeneous integration of InP lasers directly onto silicon chips. The advantage is scalable integration and elimination of the cost and complexity of the optical package for 400G and beyond. Revenue generated by optical transceivers is expected to more than double to around by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate for 2020-2025 of 15%.
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M. Vallo and P. Mukish "Global insights into the key technology enabling the exponential growth of digital communication networks", Proc. SPIE 11712, Metro and Data Center Optical Networks and Short-Reach Links IV, 117120F (5 March 2021); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2581942
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