First Coherent DSP Enabling 400G Pluggables with 75% Power Reduction

November 25, 2019 by Paul Shepard

Inphi Corporation announced that the company is sampling its new Canopus™ coherent Digital Signal Processor (DSP), the industry's first merchant 7nm coherent DSP. Canopus is expected to pave the way for an industry-wide paradigm shift in deployment models by providing low power and high density QSFP-DD, OSFP and CFP2-DCO coherent pluggable modules for cloud and telecom customers.

Canopus makes high density IP over DWDM on switch and router platforms a reality, and it is designed to deliver the performance required for metro and long haul networks. For the first time, switches and routers can offer the same port density of coherent interfaces as client ports with capacities of up to 14.4 Tb/s per rack unit (RU), representing a 3x increase over current coherent port densities.

Coherent interfaces directly on switch and router platforms eliminate the need for dedicated cloud transport boxes for DCI networks, and consequently, reduce cost and power dissipation by more than 50%.

Canopus' power efficient and high-performance DSP architecture implements probabilistic shaping, a technique that maximizes data rate at longer fiber distances and delivers lower deployment cost per bit. For the first time, coherent pluggables are powered with probabilistic shaping technology. Canopus' innovative low power implementation in 7nm silicon geometry delivers over 75% reduction in DSP power dissipation and size as compared to the current generation of coherent DSPs.

A low power DSP is necessary to meet the small form factor pluggable modules power requirements. Additionally, Canopus' design allows operators the flexibility to select either ZR or high-performance modes, enabling them to cover a wide range of network applications.

Canopus builds upon the extensive deployed base of Inphi's M200 coherent DSP. This continuity enables OEMs and Operators interoperability across generations of coherent solutions for 100G and 200G deployments to drive a seamless transition to 400G. Canopus supports 400G ZR, which is broadly supported by cloud operators, service providers and OEMs and is being standardized in OIF facilitating multi-vendor interoperability up to 120km span.

Inphi contributed an innovative FEC technology called CFEC, adopted by multiple standards bodies including OIF, IEEE and ITU for the 400G ZR standard. Canopus extends performance beyond ZR to ZR+ extending 400G reach and spans lower data rates to thousands of kilometers on metro and long haul networks.

"The Canopus coherent DSP is ushering a new industry wide ecosystem, pluggability, and era of interoperability. Canopus increases density while slashing both power dissipation and the cost per bit to unprecedented levels," said Nariman Yousefi, SVP, Coherent DSP, Inphi. "The sampling of the Canopus DSP transforms coherent pluggable optics to high-performance 100/200/300/400G, a true revolutionary step and the inflection point in the industry."

"The market for coherent pluggable optics will exceed $500M by 2023," said Andrew Schmitt, Directing Analyst at Cignal AI. "Canopus is the first product to bring standards-based interoperability to coherent networking and enable disaggregation of high-performance optical modules in both cloud DCI and traditional service providers."

"400G ZR and ZR+ DCO modules will deliver an unmatched value proposition for cloud and service provider customers," said Christophe Metivier, Vice President of Manufacturing and Platform Engineering, at Arista Networks. "At Arista, we look forward to supporting these modules on our standard switches and routers with pluggable ZR and ZR+ modules for DCI, metro, and even long haul DWDM networks."

"Juniper is committed to accelerating 400GbE with 400G ZR, ZR+ across multiple platforms to help service providers, cloud and enterprise customers to achieve better economics with no density/throughput trade-off for packet-optical integration as they transition to 400G to lower cost per bit while increasing bandwidth," said Domenico Di Mola, Vice President of Engineering, Packet Optical Platform at Juniper Networks. "Low power 400G Coherent DSP is crucial technology for the industry deliver 400G ZR and ZR+."

Strong Multi-Sourced Ecosystem

Inphi is facilitating an ecosystem of partners offering QSFP-DD, OSFP and CFP2-DCO modules, fueled with coherent advancements enabled by Canopus power and performance scalability. This will make Canopus truly interoperable ecosystem for data center interconnect, metro and long haul applications across multiple established module vendors in the industry, will drive supply diversity and accelerate time to deployment for OEMs and operators. Canopus ecosystem partners are equipped to deploy interoperable solutions across wide array of optical network links with ZR and ZR+.

"Canopus offers critical power and size innovation to enable 400G ZR and ZR+ interfaces on high density switch and router cards for data center connectivity," said Adit Narasimha, Vice President and General Manager, Molex Optoelectronics. "Our partnership with Inphi propels our vision to be a market leader in the coherent pluggable space."

"Canopus drives an industry first in key coherent market segments," said Marc Stiller, NeoPhotonics Vice President of Coherent Modules. "Time to market is critical in every coherent segment. Our partnership with Inphi, combined with our industry leading coherent optics platforms, allows NeoPhotonics to rapidly deliver Canopus based modules and sets us on a leadership path."


Inphi is now sampling its multi-rate 100/200/300/400G 7nm Coherent DSP to qualified customers. This effort is part of an overarching strategy to drive a comprehensive ecosystem of QSFP-DD, OSFP and CFP2-DCO modules from multiple sources to ensure interoperability and multi-vendor supply variability for the industry.