FAQ: Why POET’s 400G and 800G Solutions Provide Advantages for LuxshareTech
February 2nd, 2023
On February 2, 2023, POET Technologies announced that it will partner with Luxshare Technology, which provides data-communication facilities and enterprise-level products to enable the sale of power-efficient and cost-optimized 400G and 800G transceiver solutions. Samples of POET’s 400G FR4 and 800G 2xFR4 receive optical engines (RXOEs) have been shipped to LuxshareTech, which has worked closely with POET’s engineers to develop the unique chiplet platform that will be offered to end customers.
The POET 400G FR4 receive chiplet is approximately 75 square millimeters in size — so small you could stack three of them on top of a U.S. dime and not completely cover it. In addition to the already integrated photodiode detectors, DMUX and spot size converters included in a POET RXOE, the company has mounted a trans-impedance amplifier (TIA) on the chiplet and connected it to detectors using the high-speed copper traces embedded in the optical interposer wafer, rather than traditional wire bonds, which produce excess noise and heat. The inclusion of the TIA is another step toward the full integration of all required electronic components needed for a transceiver into the POET optical engine chiplet.
POET expects to complete design verification testing and reliability qualification of the RXOEs in the first half of 2023 and start production in the second half of 2023.
1. How are the 400G and 800G FR4 RXOE for LuxshareTech better than what's currently on the market?
The POET 400G and 800G FR4 RXOEs are highly integrated solutions, combining electronics and photonics components in close proximity, which is essential for optimal performance at such high speeds. The optical signal gets converted to electrical signal by the photodiodes and the small electrical signal has to be immediately amplified by the TIA to enhance the quality of the received signal. The close integration of the TIA and the other components on the POET RXOE chiplet promises superior performance compared to discrete solutions. Those require assembly of the TIA, high-speed photodiodes and optical demultiplexer as separate components on the transceiver circuit board, all using wire bonds. The POET solution is a single chip that includes all of these components, pre-assembled and tested at wafer scale. It’s one of the reasons this technology can be a game-changer in cost, scale and performance for the industry.
2. The company often cites its competitive size as a reason why POET garners attention from customers. Why does the size of these single chiplet solutions matter to LuxshareTech?
The available board space for 400G and 800G transceivers is about 18mm wide. Several electronics and photonics components need to fit in that available space. It gets even more challenging for 800G transceivers since the component count doubles but the available space inside a QSFP-DD package remains the same. POET’s 400G FR4 RXOE chiplet is 4.7mm wide and the 800G 2xFR4 chiplet is only 5.1mm wide. The small size of POET’s RXOEs simplifies customers’ board design and provides the required flexibility to lay out other components for the transmitter and complete the module design.
3. What about these products is similar to what POET has sent to ADVA? And what about these ones is different?
These 400G/800G RXOEs and the ADVA OEs that we announced on January 18th are both for data center applications. They both serve the 2km to 10km reach needs within the data center. However, the products for ADVA are for 100Gbps applications whereas these RXOEs for LuxshareTech are for higher speed applications, 400G and 800Gbps. The other major difference is the inclusion of TIA on the 400G and 800G RXOEs, which is not integrated on our OE for ADVA’s engines. The ADVA OEs are for a particular data center need, having to do with optimizing the use of legacy 100G ports. The 400G/800G RXdOEs are chiplets that will be included in fully functional 400G and 800G transceiver modules for general use. POET expects to combine these with its 400G/800G transmit OEs when they are available.
4. What could the market opportunity be for LuxshareTech once it implements POET’s products?
The 400G FR4 and 800G 2xFR4 market is ramping fast and is projected to be at $500 million per year for the next several years. FR4 is the only industry standard that serves the 500m to 2km reach inside a data center. LuxshareTech has the opportunity to capture a share of this growing market with cost optimized and scalable design, thanks in part to POET.
As LuxshareTech’s General Manager Mike Gao said, POET’s highly integrated chiplet platform enables “us to achieve a solution with superior performance and ease of module assembly.”
5. Why are pluggable transceivers such an attractive product for the industry?
Pluggable transceivers have been the optical interfaces of choice for data communication for more than 20 years. They provide significant benefits such as:
- Flexibility: Various types of transceivers can be plugged into a single system and serve different reach requirements
- Cost and supply chain: Several suppliers can supply the standardized pluggable transceivers and provide cost and supply-chain benefits to data center operators
- Serviceability: Popping out a pluggable transceiver and replacing a new one is the easiest way to troubleshoot and/or replace a faulty link. The alternative is to remove the entire system, thereby taking it out of service, which can be quite expensive and time consuming.
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