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Coherent Optical Transforms Data Center Interconnects

White Papers

Integrated photonics and new standards drive next-generation DCI


Demand for more and faster data continues to grow. Cloud-based services, video streaming, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, 5G connectivity, and more put a strain on communications networks. Network infrastructure, in particular data center interconnects (DCIs), must evolve and transform to support these demands. Today’s DCIs need to offer higher bandwidth transfer rates and ensure energy efficiency. 


While widely used in long-haul telecommunications networks, coherent optical technology has been cost prohibitive and impractical for use in shorter distances such as DCIs. Developments in integrated photonics technology and standards such as 400ZR will enable DCIs to reach a new speed class. Using coherent optical technology, DCIs can transport terabytes of information across a single fiber line and provide flexibility to address growing data demands.


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