Mobile communication is an important driving force for the development of optical networks. It is also self-evident that the development of optical modules is of great importance. We know that the optical module market can be subdivided into the Telecom market, the Datacom market and the Access market. Among them, the Telecom market is the "main battlefield" competed by the optical module industry. The biggest surprise for the future Telecom market is the evolution of 5G technology. Based on the requirement of 5G higher rate, higher capacity and higher base station density, there will be greater new demand and market space for high rate optical modules.
The Demands of Optical Transceivers for 5G Network
Although the current 5G is still in the standard stage, major equipment manufacturers have actively carried out joint trials with operators to strive to achieve 5G commercial use by 2020. "5G is commercial, carrying is the first.” It is predicted that the future number of 5G base stations will exceed 10 million, which will bring the surge in demand for optical modules in quantity. Compared with 4G technology, 5G data transmission rate is 10 to 100 times that of 4G, which means that the number of optical modules used by a single base station will increase substantially when the optical module rate remains unchanged.
We simply use a formula to represent the demand of a 5G optical module: optical module requirement (F) = base station number (m) * single base station module requirement (n). In the 5G era, compared with 4G, m and n will be significantly improved. Therefore, under the 5G construction period, the optical module will become one of the most flexible segments in the 5G industry chain. In addition, the demand for optical modules for the construction of large-scale data centers will also increase with the outbreak of 5G traffic.
To sum up, it is helpful for optical module suppliers to get ahead in the 5G era when they grasp the demand for optical modules in 5G networks in advance. So what are the specific demands of 5G optical modules? What are the mature products in the industry can initially meet the needs of 5G load? We try to analyze in the following parts.
Why Will the 100G Optical Transceivers Become the Mainstream for 5G Network?
Compared with 4G networks, 5G rebuilds the BBU into a separate architecture of CU (Centralized Unit) and DU (Distributed Unit), so its bearer needs an additional layer of intermediate network. Fronthaul - middlehaul – backhaul, the three carrier network requirements for optical modules are different. For 5G fronthaul, the CPRI bandwidth per 10MHz single-antenna port is about 614.4Mbps under ideal transmission conditions. The typical 5G wireless bandwidth is 100M ~ 1G, the peak is 20G, the antenna port may be 64 or 128. After a simple conversion, 5G fronthaul network granularity should be 25Gbps, which has been generally accepted by the industry. It can be inferred that the future 50Gbps and 100Gbps of the 5G pre-transmission modules will be the mainstream. For 5G middle haul, it will use DWDM ring network structure, transmission distance 10 ~ 40km, n * 25G technology. This means that 100G optical modules are highly likely candidates for 5G messenger. For 5G backhaul, either with the network can be merged, but also separate. According to the future OTN networking, n * 100G technology will be adopted; if there is no OTN networking and 200G / 400G optical module technology. But no matter what kind of technology, 100G and above ultra-high-speed optical module must become the mainstream for the 5G market.
In conclusion, the demand of the 100G optical module by the 5G network is very urgent. At present, there are many kinds of mature 100G optical transceivers in the market, like 100G QSFP28 CWDM4, 100G QSFP28 PSM4 and 100G CFP / CFP2 / CFP4 optical modules provided by Gigalight. They cover the mainstream form factors: CFP / CFP2 / CFP4 / QSFP28 and can be used for a variety of optical network bearer demand. In particular, 100G QSFP28 and 100G CFP4 have the advantages of more compact, high module integration, transmission efficiency, power consumption and cost-effectiveness.