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Reduce Test Time, Reduce Cost: Data Center Component and Transceiver Test

White Paper

Massive growth in data center traffic is urgently driving the need for bandwidth upgrades in the data center. Data center operators require cost-effective next generation optical transceivers to support their migration from 100 gigabit Ethernet (GE) to 400GE. Large hyperscale data centers have more than 50,000 optical fibers in them. With a transceiver at each end of the fiber, these data centers house upwards of 100,000 transceivers. Keeping the cost of the optical transceivers low is a high priority for data center operators. To be competitive, transceiver manufacturers must find ways to drive down production costs.

 

Like most new technologies, the price of new optical transceivers tends to drop sharply after introduction to the market, and development costs are amortized as volume ramps. Next generation transceiver technology, such as 400GE, will reach mature pricing within a year of introduction. At maturity, the cost of transceivers is directly proportional to the complexity of the design and the number of optical components. Test time contributes significantly to overall transceiver cost. More efficient testing of the broad range of transceiver data rates accelerates innovation and lowers cost. The process begins in the research and development phase with the design of transceiver components, continues to the design and validation of the transceivers, and then through manufacturing test.

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