OFS multicore fiber enables transmission of 120 Gb/s over 100 meters

By Telecom Lead Team: OFS, a manufacturer and supplier of
fiber optic network products, announced a world record transmission of 120 Gb/s
over 100 meters across a single strand of multimode fiber.


The demonstration was enabled by a seven-core
laser-optimized multimode fiber made with OFS LaserWave fiber technology
interfaced with transceivers from IBM Research, using VCSELs and photodiodes
from EMCORE.


According to a press release, it exceeded both the
previous transmission length record by 60 meters and the previous data rate
record by 50 percent.


With advanced light sources such as the EMCORE custom
arrays, systems designers will be able to achieve the extremely high
transmission speeds predicted for future networks while increasing cable
density with the opportunity for reducing packaging costs,” said Durgesh S
Vaidya, senior manager of R&D at OFS.


The OFS fiber, according to a press release, consists of
seven graded-index multimode cores in a hexagonal array. Each of the six outer
cores transmits at 20 Gb/s over 100 meters using EMCORE two-dimensional arrays
of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and vertically illuminated
photodiodes, fabricated, in a commercial process, with a geometry corresponding
to the outer six cores of the fiber.


The fiber’s 26 micrometers core size is directly compatible
with the photodiodes needed for 25 Gb/s (20 – 30 micrometers diameter).
The 20 Gb/s VCSELs were flipped chip packaged on an IBM-designed transceiver
package with 130 nm CMOS ICs, and the full link was characterized by IBM
Research with all six channels running error-free simultaneously.


OFS believes the additional bandwidth density provided by
the multicore fiber link over standard multimode links will help to enable
efficient next-generation high-performance computers and datacenters, while the
larger core sizes compared to single-mode fiber solutions serve to help keep
packaging costs sustainable.


The expected increase in demand for optical fiber cable
in these applications will result in significant network design challenges.
While bandwidth requirements continue to grow, network managers face
considerable constraints on power and cost budgets.


Increasing the bandwidth available on each fiber is a
critical step in developing optical interconnects for future networks, not only
for high-performance computing but also for data centers, another key growth
market for optical fiber.


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