Research Note

September 2023 Progress in Linear Drive Pluggable Optics

September 2023


Highlights from a webinar on this topic organized by LightCounting and IPEC

Non-retimed Linear Drive Pluggable Optics (LPO) was the hottest topic at OFC 2023 and it continued to draw a crowd at the most recent international optical networking show CIOE 2023. LightCounting and IPEC co-hosted a webinar to discuss the very latest progress on the development and adoption of this technology on September 20, 2023. More than 400 people attended the webinar, representing over 137 companies, universities, and research firms.

Many transceivers and networking equipment suppliers are excited about the benefits of LPO, illustrated in the figure below. Their customers are also interested but not quite ready to embrace it yet. Nvidia disclosed plans to deploy LPO by the end of 2023 in their internal AI Clusters and, we assume, must be doing it already. Several Cloud companies are evaluating this technology as well and we may learn more about their plans next year. Two of them were planning to present at this webinar, but in the end decided not to. They were not quite ready to discuss their plans in public yet.

LightCounting expects that re-timed pluggables will continue to dominate the market, but LPO will find a few specific use cases. An updated forecast for LPO will be published in December 2023: AOCs, DACs and Co-Packaged Optics.

Data on the reduced power consumption of LPO was first presented by Arista at OFC 2023 and the company shared their latest results on LPO at the webinar.

The full text of the research note is available to LightCounting clients at:

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