Yesterday Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN, news, filings) announced a major shift in its product development stance toward 100G. They now plan to ship a 100G system based on coherent transmission in 2012. The new system will be capable of supporting 8Tb/s per fiber (80 wavelengths x 100Gb/s each), and will feature next generation PICs in 500Gbps increments (5x100Gbps) with ultra-longhaul reach as well as the cost savings derived from photonic integration.
Prompting this product acceleration was a recent successful 1600km test in which Infinera successfully transmitted a 100G signal using coherent modulation technology. Until now, all eyes had been on the timing of Infinera's 40G product release, which has appeared to be lagging the current market opportunity. The company still expects to have a 40G product available in 2011, but they see 40G as having a narrow window - something others have been saying for a while of course.
Therefore, their preference to leapfrog to 100G is not a shock, the main surprise is the speed with which the technology will apparently lend itself to the company's photonic integration and therefore improve the pricing at which 100G can be deployed. With 2012 being just when 100G will likely really start to see widespread deployment, a 100G coherent PIC solution looks rather formidable. Assuming of course that they deliver on this timetable.
Nevertheless, the effects on their revenue growth in 2011 should be watched, as their customers may choose to leapfrog 40G alongside them, or else buy it elsewhere in the meantime.
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