Amazing 400G Upgradeable to 800G High Density Metro Transport

March 11th, 2024

Sugar and spice, fish and chips, caviar and champagne: Many great things come in pairs. The same holds true for optical networks, where capacity-reach and power-cost optimized transmission complement each other to transport 100GbE, 400GbE, and future 800GbE services traffic.

Capacity-optimized transmission maximizes the line rate for any distance and fiber condition. Today, this delivers up to 1.2Tbps for shorthaul, 800G for regional applications over 1000km, and 400G for practically unlimited long haul. However, achieving this outstanding performance relies on proprietary technology transceivers that are more expensive and have higher power consumption.

Alternatively, power-cost optimized transmission uses standard technology transceivers that are less costly and have lower power consumption. Today, a number of vendors supply interoperable transceivers based on the 400ZR+ standard. Its tradeoff is more focused performance, delivering 400G for metro applications to about 500km. This is a sweet spot, which represents half the optical transport market.

The big news for power-cost optimized transport is that it is about to become much denser. Until now, 400ZR+ has been implemented using CFP2-DCO pluggables. In a few months, it will be available in a QSFP-DD-DCO pluggable that’s 75% smaller, enabling ultra-dense solutions.

If that is not amazing enough, by the end of the year, QSFP-DD-DCO will also support 800ZR+ by going to smaller silicon geometry. This will provide two jumps in capability: Capacity increase from 400G to 800G for metro distance applications, and  Extended reach of 400G to about 2000km for long haul applications.

Ribbon is among the first industry players to take advantage of this pluggable in its MPQ_8 transponder-muxponder sled, for which  Ribbon is receiving a Lightwave recognition award at OFC 24. MPQ_8 supports eight independent 400G lines for 100GbE and 400GbE service transport, and features several industry “bests” for power-cost optimized transport:

  • Highest density of 3.2T per sled, or 12.8T per 2RU in Ribbon’s 9408 compact modular platform. This saves rack space.
  • Lowest power of 0.1W/G. This saves directly on electrical power costs and indirectly on cooling costs.
  • Unique upgradeability to 800ZR+ QSFP-DD-DCO when this becomes available, providing the two jumps in capability described above by simply replacing the pluggable.
  • Regeneration of coherent line interfaces to extend reach beyond usual metro distances.
  • Integrated performance monitoring with telemetry for centralized monitoring.
  • Integrable (solution can be integrated) optical line protection for high availability.
  • Integrable EDFA solution for low-cost mini-OLS applications.
  • L1 optical encryption, which is translatable into a revenue-generating service.

To learn more about Ribbon’s high density optical transport solutions, see our website or visit us in person at OFC booth #1131.

Sleds for Ribbon’s 9408 Compact Modular Platform