100G network architecture has held steady in the market for a number of years, as there have been continual technological advancements aiding its success. QSFP28 100G has seen an increase in popularity in the market thanks to the development and implementation of laser technology; however, silicon photonics technology has also made many breakthroughs in this area and is continuing to be explored further. This article will thoroughly compare both laser and silicon photonics technologies that are used in 100G QSFP28 networks, so one can make the most informed choice when deciding which way to go. It is important to stay up-to-date with the current 100G QSFP28 solutions available on the market, so application performance and reliability are not affected.
100G Networks are no longer impossible to maintain due to Silicon Photonics (SiPh) technology. SiPh mainly uses silicon-on-insulator wafers as a semiconductor substrate and applies CMOS manufacturing, which helps reduce the amount of power needed while increasing the optical module’s transmission performance. 100G QSFP28 FR1 and 100G QSFP28 DR1 are two SiPh modules being developed on the market that can be utilized for both short and long distance transmissions respectively. 100G QSFP28 FR1 can replace 100G QSFP28 CWDM4 and achieve a 2km short-distance transmission. 100G QSFPDR1 is suitable for two short-distance applications–optimizing cabling from the MPO8-core jumper of PSM4 to the dual-core LC fiber to replace 100G QSFP28 PSM4 500m or unchanged fiber optic cable when replacing 100G QSFP28 CWDM4 500m (OCP). Investing in this revolutionary optical technology saves time, costs, and energy as networks continue to become faster and more efficient.
For 100G networks, QSFP28 connectors offer an ideal solution. One of the greatest advantages to using QSFP28 is leveraging the growing technology of silicon photonics. Silicon photonics allow for a much higher density of network cabling in comparison to traditional electronic circuits and their substrate material doubles every year due to its high-performance CMOS process. This means that 100G throughput speeds can be maintained without needing to update the cabling as quickly, making silicon photonics an economical choice. Thanks to its reliability and affordability, it’s easy to see why silicon photonics are becoming an increasingly popular choice for 100G networks.
100G QSFP28 transceivers have been making great leaps in performance recently thanks to the introduction of silicon photonics technology, yet it is not without its challenges. One of these is packaging, having difficulty in bringing adequate yield and cost optimization for packaging the silicon photonics chips into optical modules. Furthermore, Moore’s law does not cater well to the external light sources required to make use of the indirect bandgap semiconductor silicon – opting for larger amounts of coupled integration steps will mean a higher cost which offsets any potential cost savings. 100G networks need optimal efficiency as much as possible and this could be an obstacle to achieving that.
100G silicon photonics technology has already started to make waves in the parallel solutions industry, such as 100G QSFP28 products. This technology offers a significant advantage over traditional optical modules due to its superior peak speed per second, energy efficiency and lower cost. Furthermore, the modular 100G design makes it possible for the integration of 400G DR4 applications with longer 500m distance transmission by using EML or Coherent technologies with less power consumption. Vantage market research predicts that the growth rate of 100G silicon photonics technology will reach an impressive 25.8% CAGR and be larger than what we see today in 2022. It is no wonder why Intel has invested heavily in 100G network components and considers this new technology to be the future of modern networks.