The global optical communications network enables the world’s connectivity to the internet in all of its forms, including through fixed wireline and mobile wireless access. Terrestrial and undersea links are the backbone of the global internet and transport large amounts of data using high-speed optical transceivers over distances spanning from a few tens to thousands of kilometers. High-speed transceivers for the backbone network employ advanced components such as tunable lasers, high-speed modulators, high-speed receivers, and powerful embedded digital signal processors. As the technology moves to higher speeds, optical amplification plays a more significant role to achieve greater reach. Submarine transmission in particular requires optical amplification at regular intervals along the transmission line using components that have demonstrated a very high level of reliability. High-speed transceivers for next-generation optical networks continue to push the technology boundaries in terms of higher speed and performance, lower power consumption, and high integration into smaller form factors.
The efficient buildout of the global optical backbone network relies on next-generation flexible reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADMs) that optimize bandwidth utilization with dynamic data-rate selection and channel-width allocation. The key building blocks of ROADM line cards are wavelength selective switch (WSS) modules, optical amplifiers, optical monitoring modules, and passive optics. ROADMs continue to be widely deployed in metro, regional, and longhaul optical networks. The rapid rise of cloud service providers is also driving the demand for equipment optimized for datacenter interconnects that allow hyperscale datacenters to communicate cost-effectively between datacenter facilities across a campus or between regions.