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The Math That Saved the Internet: 400 Gb/s Optical Modules per IEEE 802.3bs

Roy Timpe, P.E.

On December 6, 2017 the 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400G, 400GbE) and 200 Gigabit Ethernet (200G, 200GbE) standards developed by the IEEE 802.3bs Task Force were approved. The 400Gb methods specified in 802.3bs will be implemented using silicon photonics and used to transmit data a few meters between racks in data centers, and over 10 Km between buildings. 400 Gb/s is fast enough to transmit the complete works of Shakespeare in 100 micro-seconds, and quick enough to transmit the entire text information in the print collections of the U.S. Library of Congress in a little over 3 minutes. Silicon photonics promises to show the way forward to even more bandwidth at lower cost, and IEEE 802.3bs specifies the 200 Gb/s and 400 Gb/s ethernet signals that will be implemented using silicon photonics. The goal is to familiarize the reader with the modulation schemes described in IEEE 802.3 bs., how these schemes are implemented in silicon photonics, and how the imperfections of that implementation are rescued by mathematics. This course builds on E464 and E529, however, if the reader has some familiarity with how semiconductor lasers and detectors function, it is not necessary to have taken E464 or E529.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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