Molex Silicon Photonics Long Reach Pigtails Resolve Key Technical Challenge for Next Generation Data Center Architectures.

Molex Silcon Photonics based active optical pigtail assemblies have many advantages over traditional VCSEL based optics.  Much has been written about higher reliability and a Bit Error Rate that is approximately 1000 times better than VCSEL based products (1E-18 vs. 1E-15 BER).  However, the most overlooked benefit of Molex singlemode Silicon Photonics Active Pigtails (or AOCs) is the ability to go up to 2km at 25 Gbps, at a fraction of the cost and power of long rage (LR) optics.  

Currently, VCSEL based AOCs are now exhibiting the same challenges that copper cables did over a decade ago:  Higher data rates lead to shorter distances, and overcoming those challenges mean evermore exotic designs and significantly higher (and ever increasing) structured cable costs.

Molex singlemode silicon photonics pigtails plug into singlemode structured cabling, which ensures that the overall structured cable is future-proofed.  While MM VCSEL based products required the upgrade from OM2 to OM3, now OM4 and potentially even more exotic (and expensive) cables, SM fiber ensures a future proofed cable infrastructure designed for as close to unlimited bandwidth as one can currently envision.  And, paradoxically, singlemode cable is the most economical cable to begin with!

Molex Silicon Photonics AOC pigtails plug directly into installed singlemode structured cabling.  As such, as technology progresses they can be unplugged and new higher data rate products installed without having to replace the whole structured cabling.  Upgrades can be accomplished at a fraction of the cost and downtime of traditional VCSEL based optics.  And yet, at under 2W power dissipation at 25 Gbps, silicon photonics SM pigtails use the approximate same amount of power as VCSEL based products, but significantly less than LR optics.

Recent changes in data center architectures (most notably spine and leaf architectures designed to exponentially increase east-west traffic flow ) can require longer length cables.  With 2km of reach at 25 Gbps, Molex Silicon phononics based pigtails can address almost any need within data centers or enterprise campuses.  At 25 Gbps, VCSEL based AOCs and actives are struggling to hit 100 meter lengths, and many are forecasted to hit far less.  This is at a time when it has been suggested that average cable deployment is already up to 130 meters, and data centers are only getting larger.

In that environment, Molex singlemode silicon photonics active optical pigtails provide a solution that can meet the new design challenges of bandwidth and distance, while using a fiber infrastructure that is future proofed for next generation designs.  And all of this for a fraction of the power and cost of LR optics.