Optical vendor Infinera upgraded its metro network portfolio with support for 400G pluggables on its XTM and GX platforms, and revealed it began commercial shipments of its ICE6 800G product.

Rob Shore, SVP of marketing at Infinera, told Fierce the former announcement marks the start of its 400G portfolio, building on 100G and 200G pluggable options and sitting beneath 600G and 800G embedded solutions.

New products include an Enhanced 400G Flexponder (FXP400G-E) plug-in unit as part of the XTM series and a dual-400G sled (CHM1R) for the GX series which is compliant with OpenROADM specifications. The XTM series is a metro aggregation platform that can be used with 300 mm racks while the GX series is more of a metro transport platform which works in 600 mm environments, Shore said.

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Notably, both 400G platforms support XR optics, a technology which will enable both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint connections. The latter capability is key, Shore said, in helping operators simplify network architecture and cut both capex and opex costs.

XR optics is “the most efficient way to bring coherent optical technology to the edge,” he said. “I can simplify the network architecture, I can significantly reduce the number of lasers required and I can eliminate intermediate aggregation locations.”

He added a study conducted by British Telecom found the technology could yield a total cost of ownership savings of 70% or more.

On the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call, Infinera CEO David Heard said “400G service demand is increasing,” and flagged XR optics as a strategic focus area for the company.

Shore said 400G is expected to have fairly long shelf life, explaining that coherent technology typically has a three to four year ramp up period followed by four to five years of bulk revenue generation and two to three years of revenue decline. By way of comparison, he noted the 200G market is just reaching its peak, generating approximately a billion dollars in revenue per year.

800G

Meanwhile, Heard revealed during the earnings call Infinera is now commercially shipping its 800G offering to customers.

He stated the pace of customer wins for that product accelerated in Q1, with its list now including “tier-one global service providers and ICPs across both subsea and terrestrial deployments.” He added it was “on track for a more meaningful revenue ramp” in the back half of this year.

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“We have built a healthy backlog and remain focused on ramping production to meet the strong demand we are seeing,” Heard said. Additional details will be shared during its upcoming analyst day, he added.

Infinera posted Q1 revenue of $330.9 million, up slightly from $330.3 million in the year-ago quarter. It recorded a net loss of $48.3 million, marking an improvement from a net loss of $99.3 million in Q1 2020.


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