The use of vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) at long wavelengths, especially if characterized by large bandwidth or tunable capability, is appearing as an attractive technology for the implementation of advanced transceivers to be used in optical metro networks at 100G and beyond. <p> </p>In this work, we report recent promising results on the adoption of different types of VCSEL for the sliceable bandwidth/bitrate variable transceiver (S-BVT) design. Special attention will be devoted to technological aspects and challenges, focusing on the added value of exploiting novel photonic technologies for the implementation of costeffective transceivers, suitable for future optical metro networks targeting high capacity and flexibility.
This work elaborates on: i) why the sliceable bandwidth variable transceiver (S-BVT) represents a key enabler for next-generation optical metro networks; ii) how it should be designed to take benefit of its capabilities and advanced features; and iii) which are the promising technologies to be adopted addressing the most relevant requirements and challenges. Specifically, S-BVT architectures based on multicarrier modulation and flexi-grid technologies, adopting cost-effective optoelectronic front-ends, enable flexible adaptation to dynamic traffic and variable path condition, targeting high capacity and scalability, while saving network resources and costs. Programmability and modularity are envisioned for integration in software-defined optical metro networks.