The Advantages of Indium Phosphide Photonic Integration in High-performance Coherent Optics

[Whitepaper Download] By Infinera: The Advantages of Indium Phosphide Photonic Integration in High-performance Coherent Optics

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A wide range of cloud and video applications, together with the increased access speeds enabled by 5G, DAA, and next-generation PON, are driving the need for ever more optical bandwidth. To deliver this bandwidth, optical vendors are developing a broad range of coherent optical transceivers addressing different segments of the market, each with its own set of design considerations. This white paper focuses on the high-performance segment, with ever-higher baud rates, higher-order modulation, and advanced capabilities such as Nyquist subcarriers and probabilistic constellation shaping that deliver more capacity per wavelength and increased spectral efficiency while maximizing reach.

In order to identify the optimal material choices for the photonic elements of the transceiver, this paper first examines the inner workings of a high-performance transceiver to identify the optical functions that are needed and the benefits of integrating these functions into photonic integrated circuits (PICs). It then looks at the material options for each function, comparing indium phosphide (InP) and silicon photonics (SiPh) and identifying the functions that can only be delivered with InP, the functions that can be delivered with InP or silicon photonics but for which InP has an advantage, and the functions for which neither photonic integration platform has an advantage. Based on this analysis, the case is made for InP as the superior photonic integration material for the high-performance segment, while recognizing that silicon photonics can still be an attractive option for applications with more modest data rate requirements.

Download the full whitepaper here.

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Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) provides Intelligent Transport Networks, enabling carriers, cloud operators, governments and enterprises to scale network bandwidth, accelerate service innovation and automate optical network operations. Infinera’s end-to-end packet-optical portfolio is designed for long-haul, subsea, data center interconnect and metro applications. Infinera’s unique large scale photonic integrated circuits enable innovative optical networking solutions for the most demanding networks. To learn more about Infinera visit, follow us on Twitter @Infinera and read our latest blog posts at

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