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Nowadays, the most common use of mobile communication networks is 4G networks With the maturity of 5G technologies, it is believed that 5G networks (fifth generation mobile communication technologies) will become a hot spot in the field of information and communication in the next five years. The construction and upgrade of Bearer network will continue to increase the demand for optical components in the telecommunications network. At the same time, the demand for data center networks will grow exponentially in the era of cloud computing. The domestic Internet companies led by BAT will enter the IDC demand expansion period, and the high-speed 25G optical modules and 100G optical modules demand rapid growth. The advent of the 5G era fuels the need for higher bandwidth and ultra-low latency network. The 25G module market will skyrocket to satisfy the higher base-station density due to that the network granularity is 25Gbps in 5G front-haul network. Considering the convenience and efficiency of network construction, the initial 5G front-haul connection will be based on the fiber direct connection, supplemented by the passive WDM connection and the active WDM/OTN/ SPN connection.
Point-to-point direct connection is used to link each AAU (Active Antenna Unit) and the DU (Distribute Unit). Since it takes a lot of fiber resources, the connection needs necessary strategies to save fiber cables, such as using 25G BiDi optical modules and 25G WDM modules.
25G optical module adopts WDM technology to multiplex multiple wavelengths into one single fiber, supporting transmission distances of 300m and 10km. In the passive 25G WDM network, the 25G WDM module is installed on the AAU and DU, while the active WDM/OTN devices are configured in the AAU site and the DU equipment room. They utilize WDM technology, providing multiple AAU to DU connections by using a pair of optical fiber. These two are efficient supplements to the fiber-to-fiber direct connection in front-haul 5G deployment to solve the fiber exhaust. Therefore, a great amount of various 25G optical transceivers will be applied in 5G front-haul transmission, which lays a solid foundation of a promising 25G transceiver market.
25G SFP28 Transceiver:
The 25G Ethernet solution is a solution standardized and developed by IEEE 802.3 task force P802.3by. This solution is mainly concentrated for use in datacenter environment. The 25 G Ethernet consortium has been formed in July 2014 to support the deployment of single lane 25GB/s solutions and dual lane 50GB/s Ethernet solutions. In November 2015, the 802.3 task force has been formed to develop the single-lane 25 GB/s Ethernet solution and on June 30 the IEEE 802.3by standard has been approved by the IEEE-SA Standards board.
The SFP28 optical transceiver, which is a transceiver based on the widely popular SFP+ Form-Factor, introduces a new generation of high-density 25 GB/s Ethernet applications for Datacenters and Enterprise companies. It provides a conventional and cost-effective upgrade.
5G Network Analysis and Need of 25G
The 4G network is mainly composed of three parts: EPC (Evolved Packet Core), BBU (Baseband Unit), and RRU (Radio Remote Unit). In 5G network architecture, it divides the original 4G BBU into CU (Central Unit) and DU (Distributed Unit), fully taking the advantages of cloudification and centralized control of the cell site deployment. Meanwhile, the 5G network combines the original 4G RRU and part of the physical layer functions of the BBU with the antenna to form a multifunctional AAU (Active Antenna Unit). Therefore, the upgraded 5G network infrastructure adds middle-haul transmission in the existing 4G infrastructure which only covers front-haul transmission and back-haul transmission. These three parts of 5G transmission have different requirements for 5G network optical transceivers. In 5G network front-haul transmission, it will reach estimated 100M-1G bandwidth speeds with peaks of 20G. The antenna port might be 64 or 128. And greater granularity and more refined bandwidth processing will be achieved. While 25G WDM-PON is accepted as an optimal solution for 5G front-haul transmission, connecting the DU and RRU and offering high bandwidth, low latency, and low costs. Consequently, 25G optical transceivers will be an indispensable part in building 5G network. The middle-haul transmission of 5G network will mainly adopt N x 25G technology and DWDM ring network infrastructure, which represents the significant needs of 100G optical transceivers. In the back-haul transmission of 5G network, if OTN (optical transport network) is deployed to carry the signals, N x 100G technology will be adopted. If not, 200G/400G optical transceivers would be required.
Factors that lead to 25g transceiver:
In the age of 4G, single-mode 10G SFP+ optical transceivers are the dominance of front-haul network. However, the number of 5G base stations is expected to be 1.3-1.5 times larger than that of 4G. It is predicted that the number of 5G macro base stations will exceed 5 million, which demands for higher speed optical transceivers. Since the network granularity of 5G front-haul transmission is 25Gbps, the needs for 25G optical transceivers will be stimulated because of the increasing number of 5G base stations.
25G Ethernet technology is developed with the merits of low-cost, low-power consumption and high density. As the use of the 25G transceiver in 5G network keeps burgeoning, more and more optical transceiver manufactures will intensively participate in the research and development of 25G transceivers technology around 5G application. For instance, WDM technology adopted by 25G BiDi modules and 25G WDM modules is used to save fiber resources in 5G front-haul transmission.
25G Transceiver: Road for 100G and 400G
So there comes the game changer: 25G Ethernet for better economics and efficiency. 25 Gigabit Ethernet makes the road to 100G smoother with reduced cost, lower power consumption and less cabling complexity. SFP28 optical transceiver is designed for use in 25G Ethernet, delivering 2.5 times higher speed per lane at lower power. 25G SFP28 can be viewed as the enhanced version of 10G SFP+ transceiver, utilizing the same form factor but running at 25 Gb/s instead of 10 Gb/s. Besides, SFP28 25G is back compatible with SFP+ so it will work sufficiently on SFP+ ports. By the year of 2019, the price of a 25G SFP28 will be almost the same as a 10G SFP+. So you will be saving a great bunch of money if choosing to move to 25G. Some users even plan to skip 10G and directly deploy 25G Ethernet for better scaling to 50G and 100G.