It is well known in the optical communications optical module dominate, and photonic chip is the heart of the optical module is the core of the optical communication system. Photonic chip strength, represents a country, a company's optical communications technology. Therefore, when the industry proud, "Optical communication is a Chinese high-tech and advanced level in the gap in the world one of the smallest fields," when we need a critical analysis of this sentence.
There is no doubt that, from the system equipment level, Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese manufacturers have a leading position. This position not only refers to market share, but also include high-speed circuit design line side optical module design, the soft-decision algorithms and other technical strength, and downstream industry chain control. According to Ovum's report, in 2013 the 100G market, Huawei has a 31% share, in an absolutely leading position. However, optical devices and photonic chip downstream, whether it is possible to follow the resurgence?
Absolute distance is widening
Manufacturing an optical module can be divided into several steps, then the module from the chip to the device. Each step can be broken down, the core of the optical chips including epitaxial growth, lithography, plating, cleavage, test, and many other aspects. Evaluation of its technological prowess, from photonic chip and optical module view, and photonic chips more representative core technology.
From optical module, the current high-end mainstream market rate optical modules 100Gbps, while 400G and 1T optical module is also in development or pre-research. 100G optical modules, including long distance and short distance, the major suppliers include foreign Finisar, JDSU, Oclaro, Fibertower, Fujitsu, Sumitomo and other device manufacturers, after Cisco's acquisition of Lightwire can confession. In the country, only Huawei's Hass (Hisilicom) mastered the core technology, and can own supply. But Hass mainly targeted to Huawei Service, the industry lacks "China chip."
Currently Accelink, Guoyang communication devices such as China have been able to supply small quantities, can not achieve long distances. While more companies launched the 100G products, mostly still in the testing phase samples. The foreign 400G CDFP MSA has been established this year, the initiator include Avago, Brocade, IBM, JDSU, Juniper, Molex and TE Connectivity, subsequent join manufacturers, including FCI, Finisar, Huawei, Inphi, Mellanox, Oclaro, Semtech and Yamaichi.
From photonic chip level, the international mainstream big vendors have acquired through independent research and master the core chip 100G optical module technology, while outside the country in addition to Huawei Hass, should it still remain in the 10G level, and can not fully grasp. Since photonic chip as a basic industry also need long-term investment, we can imagine the Chinese manufacturers in the short term is very difficult to catch up with foreign manufacturers, although the relative narrowing, the absolute distance is widening.
Is it possible to acquire an overseas 100G Express Chipset developers? This really is not a problem for foreign manufacturers, such as Cisco's acquisition of Lightwire, Finisar acquired u2T, NeoPhotonics acquired LAPIS optical device business. But for Chinese manufacturers would be very difficult, because the high-speed optical chip developers, mainly from the United States and Japan, the Chinese company is very sensitive. Instead, after the acquisition of these large companies, some of it cut off the chip supply to Chinese optical module manufacturers, leading to the risk of unpredictable.
Photonic integrated smoke and mirrors
Photonic chips and an optical communication system to solve the cost, size, power consumption and other issues, the next step is the photon integration. There are a variety of integrated technologies including PLC
-based integration (most mature), InP-based integration (in Infinera as the representative), based on an integrated silicon photonics (the most popular). Wei Leping believes that the key to solving optical device price point that silicon photonics integration. In fact, in recent years, silicon photonic optical communications industry is a hot topic.
Although silicon photonics technology still faces many bottlenecks, but in the solidarity of the whole industry, is being overcome one by one, the industry for large-scale commercialization of silicon photonics has great confidence. Especially short-distance data center applications, so that silicon photonics to find the most suitable arena. Vigorously promote the enormous potential of the data center, as well as Intel and other manufacturers to promote silicon photonics research and development to further accelerate the process.