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15 oktober, 2020 10 Years of WDM & Optics

So, I am proud to say that we are turning 10 years old. For sure a milestone and something that needs some well-deserved attention! We were aiming for a launch event for our Pro MINI and Pro NANO and a combined VIP event to highlight our anniversary for all our customers, partners and all the people who have been supporting us during these years. You know we do appreciate the casual “hangout” events and seeing you at industry events. But something called Covid denied us those possibilities…

Ultimately, we have been extremely fortunate during Covid times with an ongoing business more or less as before Covid. The digital transformation, 5G projects and fiber rollouts have not stopped and optics that are used in the background are therefore needed.

Pro Optix 10 years ago… Change is coming faster!

When considering the last 10 years it is interesting to see how quickly technology has changed, we work in a fast-moving technology world, what we supply allows the world to share, process and communicate – important stuff. What is interesting is that as speeds are getting faster for every year so is the speed of change. 10 years ago, we had new formfactors every 3-5 years. The last 2 years has seen new formfactors and speeds every year! Really mind boggling and the speed of change is not stopping and it´s a little amusing since people can refer to optics as “Gbics” and that formfactor was launched 25 years ago. 😊

When founded our business focused around 100Mbit with some 1G orders, 10G was expensive and limited for several reasons back in 2010. WDM was seen as complicated and people argued that you might as well use a new fiber and that density was not a focus area for everyone. This year 800G is launched on the OSFP and QSFP-DD platform and 100G has developed more for longer distances and WDM has been a focus area for a couple of years. Focus on and building with passive CWDM and DWDM to utilise the fiber and unlock the true potential is one of the bigger changes, Telcos and Carriers can increase the capacity as demand grows. The launch of the Pro MINI and Pro NANO allows us to follow and offer that flexible product needed, so our customers can grow step by step when demand rises. Pro Optix are proud suppliers of passive WDM products to 3 major Telcos in the Nordics and our focus on this area has increased, hence the launch of the Pro MINI and Pro NANO multiplexer series.

Transceiver form factors come and go and continue to develop…

Today the GBIC’s, Xenpak’s, X2’s, and XFP’s have almost all but gone – SFP/ SFP+ is still going strong and we have recently seen the introduction of SFP28, SFP56 and even more recently the SFP-DD for 100G single lambda– the SFP core form factor (SFP, SFP+, SFP28, SFP56, SFP-DD included) is still a big seller, the biggest seller within optical transceivers in quantity. So, a lot is about developing current form factors and using what we have for longer distances, more wavelength or higher bitrates. A good example is the fact that we now can offer CWDM transceivers on 1, 10, 25 and 100G with new wavelengths and distances under development all the time. With that said, new formfactors are of course launched. The QSFP-DD and OSFP were launched in 2019 supporting bitrates of 400G and above. These two formfactors introduced a new connector – the CS connector. This enables the fact that we now can utilise a transceiver for 2 x LC Duplex on one transceiver which is used for 400G and 800G on QSP-DD, OSFP and SFP-DD. QSFP28 is probably the formfactor where we´ve seen the most development lately, both in terms of technology and reach. It is also the formfactor where we have seen the most growth in quantity and the technology is available for the masses.

Optical technology developments in the near future

400G is already here and 800G will be launched in 2020 so things are moving as expected. We have introduced the CS connector as mentioned above, a great product from SENKO. This connector is new and was developed to meet the need for higher bitrates packaged in a more compact design. Already available and launched is the SN connector. A connector again for the dense environment and at the moment a “Datacenter” product and definitely an ultra-high-density product (UHD). With the CS connector we saw new possibilities and that’s why we launched the Pro NANO to meet the future needs of UHD solutions and simply not waste your rack space. During the next years we do believe that more and more form factors will utilize the new connectors available which will enable the new bitrates in more or less the same package. Definitely exciting but also challenging with a new standard for all field technicians to consider when planning a build out in their networks.

Pro Optix will continue to specialize in optics and WDM

How do we see the next 10 years…? We actively decided to dig deeper and specialize even more within our already super niche market segment. We did so to follow our strong belief that we can support our customers a lot better if we are true specialists, able to meet all your demands. I am glad we did so, when tempted to offer all possible products on the market we did the opposite – it led to a unique WDM product, the Pro MINI and the Pro NANO and happily our invested time and resources in our online customer service portal paid off during this Covid-19 breakout. The Pro Coder makes it possible for us to support our customers no matter where they are on the planet, it also lets them code and change their optics on their own. And again, we are committed to meet all our customers’ demands and make sure our products support all possible platforms, brands and form factors. When combined, our WDM and optics, we make sure we have a strong contribution for our customers solution, and we can genuinely add value when they design and plan their fiber networks. Together with our sister company in Norway we will continue to invest and focus on optics and passive WDM products – being able to customize products, keep effective stock and being able to change production depending on our customers’ demands.

A big thank you to all and we look forward to the future with excitement and motivation.

Tom Nordin, CEO, Pro Optix

 
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