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Optical and Photonic Networks for 5G: Innovating at the Component Level

Published: 2018-10-08      Browse:18

Optical and Photonic Networks for 5G: Innovating at the Component Level

MACOM in conversation with Verizon

     As technology continues to advance and new innovative solutions seem to appear daily, all eyes are looking to what’s next. For MACOM and Verizon, the next big step is the enablement and deployment of 5G communications networks. Verizon, being a telecommunications carrier, is eager to provide faster, more reliable connections to their customers, and MACOM is in a unique position to leverage its technology portfolio to develop the components that will make these new 5G networks possible.

      Recently MACOM’s Vivek Rajgarhia, SVP and GM of the Lightwave Business Unit, had the opportunity to sit down to discuss recent product and technology innovation with Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Backbone Network Design, of Verizon. It was an interesting conversation throughout, spanning the growth and evolution of MACOM, to the direction in which the telecommunications industry is moving, and most importantly how these things intersect.

      Rajgarhia began the conversation by explaining the history of MACOM, from the company’s founding nearly 70 years ago in the RF microwave industry, to present day where optics and photonics have become a significant focus for MACOM, highlighting how the portfolio of technologies has expanded to include Silicon Photonics (SiPh), Silicon Germanium (SiGe) and many more. More than ever before, MACOM is positioned as a preeminent supplier from RF to Light.

      With 5G trending worldwide, companies and consumers alike are interested in the optimal development of 5G networks and the ability to deploy at a larger, more reliable scale to meet the ever-increasing demand for data. Growth in the telecommunications sector and the evolution of the components that will enable 5G is a main discussion point in the video, with both Wellbrock and Rajgarhia discussing how current technologies are growing toward a larger, more connected network.  The challenges being worked through while developing these technologies will optimize them for use in large-scale network architectures that will allow faster, more reliable connections between users. Wellbrock spoke about the evolution of laser technologies and how the jump from 10G lasers to 100G speeds occurred out of necessity to meet capacity requirements, while the jump from 100G to 400G will be an optimization move. Much of the foundation for the 5G network is already in place, but the challenge lies in optimizing this backbone in order for it to be built upon.

      With the concepts of Smart Cities—cities that are interconnected with data collection sensors to supply information that can be used to better manage assets and resources, and the Internet of Things—connecting everyday objects with computing devices that enable them to send and receive data, comes the challenge of producing enough volume to satisfy demand, as well as the task of creating robust parts that will be able to handle the challenges that come along with connecting an entire city on one network. MACOM is committed to developing products that can be used in conjunction with each other to enable cohesive systems. For example, Silicon Photonics is positioned to be the most scalable solution for optical interconnects, delivering the lowest cost per bit for 100G and 400G, a key solution to the challenge that comes with deploying in remote areas of networks where replacing malfunctioning parts can be difficult and costly.

      As technology continues to evolve, to satiate demanding higher speeds, an innovative, cost-effective and cohesive offering of components must be developed to enable next-generation connections. Wellbrock and Rajgarhia explore some of these exciting developments, and with some of the brightest minds in the industry working together, the full potential of 5G will soon be realized.



All financial guidance projections referenced in this post were made as of the publication date or another historical date noted herein, and any references to such projections herein are not intended to reaffirm them as of any later date. MACOM undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or projection at any future date. This post may include information and projections derived from third-party sources concerning addressable market size and growth rates and similar general economic or industry data. MACOM has not independently verified any information and projections from third party sources incorporated herein. This post may also contain market statistics and industry data that are subject to uncertainty and are not necessarily reflective of market conditions. Although MACOM believes that these statistics and data are reasonable, they have been derived from third party sources and have not been independently verified by MACOM.