Talk with Source Photonics: Positioning at High-end Modules for Its 5G and Datacenter Strategy

Updated:2018/7/10 11:09

With the upcoming 5G era, the convergence of wired and wireless prevails and in the meantime the Internet companies get deeply involved in telecom infrastructure cases like China Unicom’s mixed-ownership reform where Tencent and Baidu are said to have invested. The optical transceiver manufacturers as the center of optical network chain are also keeping the readjustment of their business strategies in this sense.

Source Photonics, as a world’s leading optical component manufacturer, has been rooted in China market for quite long years even the media peers in this industry sometimes cannot recall its English name at the first sight. At MWCS 2018, Sharon Liu, Senior Sales Director at Source Photonics China was interviewed by C114 and talked about the company’s strategy and insight in China market.

Sharon Liu at MWCS 2018

Proactively Engaged in the Standards Formulation of 5G Transport Network

Source Photonics has a long history in this field for nearly three decades, positioned with its technological advantages. But the management board made some strategic readjustments since 2013 for repositioning of its target market and investing in high-speed transceivers R&D and manufacturing, which has received some positive feedback from the market – Source Photonics has made some breakthroughs in Datacom and Wireless segments.

As we know, the most heated topic nowadays is 5G network. And people in this industry keep saying that “Transport network leads to the commercialization of 5G”, which indicates that the transport network should be prepared in advance for upgrading to be faced with the huge traffic requirement in 5G era. And optical communication products, especially the modules, play an important role in this part. They account for over half of the whole network cost and influences the entire progress of 5G metro network deployment.

So far, 5G metro network is in the process between the standards formulation and first-stage commercial trial. Sharon emphasizes that Source Photonics takes a very active part in formulating the relevant industry standards. Just in last month, Source Photonics was invited to be present at Huawei’s initiated 50GE PAM4 industry panel during OptiNet China 2018, and jointly released the 50G PAM4 Technology White Paper with other industry chain partners in the hope of promoting 50GE PAM4 technology to be widely used in the 5G metro network commercialization.

Sharon said, “Source Photonics is in the process of R&D and manufacturing of its whole series of products from 50G to 400G. This is also how we take full use of our own advantages to serve and support 5G future advancement.”

Sharon also indicates that the speed rate of 5G network will be 10 times accelerated compared with that of 4G, which will definitely bring a huge potential demand for optical modules market. The manufacturers should be equipped with both technological savvy and the ways of cost-saving. Source Photonics boasts a scaling productivity covering the product line from chips, TO forming to modules with cost-effective solutions for mass production.

In addition, since 2013, Source Photonics introduced the management concept of Lean Manufacturing in its daily production and greatly increased its quality control with the inhouse promotion in process and system management. The positive result was also widely recognized by its customers. It was reported in May Source Photonics was awarded the top honor of being a Juniper Networks’ Supplier of the Year along with being awarded Component Supplier of the Year.

Released 400G Products for Datacom Users

Datacenter is another vitally huge application market for modules aside from telecom sector. Since 2015, datacenter market has seen an enormous increase in its scale, especially in the North America. Internet giants have been getting involved in constructing hyperscale datacenters, purchasing optical modules from 40G to 100G and now 100G modules are most widely used in hyperscale datacenters.

Sharon also put that Source Photonics marketed 100G QSFP28 products early in 2014 and have kept the momentum in R&D and optimization. At OFC 2018 in March, Source Photonics has took the lead in marketing 400G LR8 QSFP-DD and 400G LR8 CFP8 transceivers using the same manufacturing platform. Meanwhile Source Photonics was participating in the Ethernet Alliance Interoperability Demonstration of 400G LR8 QSFP-DD and 400G LR8 CFP8 transceivers at OFC 2018

“As far as we’ve found, the product replacement in datacenter needs three or four years and it is predicted that in 2019 or 2020, 400G products will gradually been scaled to commercialization. The joint test of interop demonstration is the evidence of what we’ve achieved.” Sharon mentioned that in these days they have got lots of sampling and small batch requests from Datacom customers.

She agreed that the momentum of datacenter market expansion could be clearly seen. Viewed from domestic market, different from what’s like in the U.S. market, datacenter operators need to think about the way to run with Chinese characteristics while the equipment manufacturers will consider how to use its advantages to the fullest to explore this hugely potential market.

As a leading supplier of optical connectivity products, Source Photonics uses its own developed chips to cater for the market demand. Sharon said, “Optical chips require a very long R&D cycle. We have been working on the technical evaluation in very earlier days with the mind of getting ahead of the market trend to keep pace with the customer needs using our cost-effective products.”

By:NanShan  Source:C114
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