IPEC: Building a Global Optoelectronic Standard Platform

2020-09-10 Source:C114

Since the physicist Theodore Maiman invented the laser in 1960, the optoelectronic industry as a whole has made decades of progress. During this time, several events have determined the core position of optical communications and optoelectronic industries in the information era. Specifically, the low-loss fibers proposed by Charles K. Kao, erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs) invented by David Neil Payne, and high-rate optical interfaces used at the Ethernet physical layer were all significant developments. Recently, we have witnessed the emergence of various application scenarios as 5G, big data, AI, and IoT services develop rapidly, driving the optical communications infrastructure to evolve towards ultra-high bandwidth and ultra-low latency. However, facing the diversified requirements and solutions of operators and Internet vendors worldwide, the optoelectronic industry has to confront the problems of scattered innovations and information silos.


On the other hand, new opportunities arise from enormous challenges, which the optoelectronic industry is embracing by calling for an international standards organization to strengthen industry planning, integrate industry forces, and guide industry development. In response to this, the International Photonics & Electronics Committee (IPEC) was established on September 10, 2020. IPEC is committed to addressing the preceding pain points and promoting healthy and sustainable development based on an open, transparent, fair, and impartial principle.


At the founding ceremony of IPEC, Ao Li, member of the Communications Technology Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and Director of the Technology and Standards Research Institute at the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), pointed out: “In the long run, only an open and transparent standards organization can support healthy development across the industry and ecosystem. In the future, all kinds of application scenarios and requirements will emerge, and networks will become increasingly intelligent. As such, the standard platform needs to cover the opinions of all industry parties and benefit all participants.” Ao Li believes that IPEC — which adheres to openness and equality — is very willing to include organizations and enterprises across the industry.


Working with Upstream and Downstream Vendors to Establish a Win-Win Standard Platform


The founding members of IPEC include CAICT, Meituan, Huawei, FiberHome, Broadex, Cambridge Industries Group (CIG), Wenzhou Yihua Connector, Hisense Broadband, HG Genuine, Source Photonics, and Yamaichi. The current members cover industry-leading research institutes, chip vendors, connector component vendors, equipment vendors, operators, and Internet vendors. In addition, well-known consulting firms, such as LightCounting, also attended the ceremony.


Liu Shaowei, member of the IPEC Advisory Committee and Director of Huawei Data Communication R&D Management Department, commented: “IPEC has attracted the attention of many upstream and downstream vendors in the industry chain. Its openness and transparency will definitely spur resource centralization, while enhancing technical innovation and promoting robust developments across the industry.”


Yang Zhuang, Chairman of the Transmission Network and Access Network Technical Committee of CCSA and Vice President of FiberHome, expressed his expectations for IPEC: “IPEC promotes the sustainable development of the optical communications industry in various countries. In the future, IPEC will be dedicated to developing and implementing a unified communications standard system, aiming to provide strong support for the development of the global digital economy. To accelerate the development of communications technologies, we need to avoid industry chain breakpoints, silos, and barriers through implementing unified standards and industry collaboration. IPEC makes industry chain standards more transparent and enables operators and vendors to formulate them together. This helps operators deliver efficient, secure, reliable, and energy-saving network services.”


Setting up Five Work Groups Based on Urgent Industry Requirements


Dr. Zhao Wenyu, Vice Chairman of IPEC and member of CAICT, elaborated on the organizational structure and operation mode of IPEC, pointing out that IPEC will set up technical work groups in five areas: network and system, physical-layer interface parameters, new encapsulation protocols, cutting-edge optoelectronic technologies, and interoperability test methods. In addition, a complete operating mechanism will be established to help the industry reach consensus through in-depth discussion, output standard files, research reports, and test white papers, and accelerate the commercial implementation of standards. At the same time, IPEC will establish an advisory committee consisting of senior experts in the optoelectronic field to provide suggestions and guidance.


Dr. Huang Weiping, Chairman and founder of Hisense Broadband, commented: “As the demand for high bandwidth and low power consumption increases in optical communications and interconnection, the innovation and development of optoelectronic technologies is becoming increasingly important. Technological innovation requires information sharing and collaboration along the whole industry chain to propel the technology iteration and magnify the scale effect. As current indications point to joint development of optoelectronic and microelectronic technologies, we believe that the establishment of IPEC will advance the related technologies and coordinated development.”


Dr. Frank Chang, Chief Engineer of Source Photonics (an international leading optical module vendor and core member of IPEC), said: “The industry has accumulated extensive experience in applying 400G PAM4 technologies to the large-scale productization of modules in the past few years. Next-generation 800G products will continue to employ the PAM4 direct detection technology and fully utilize the cost, power consumption, performance, and maintainability advantages of pluggable optical modules to meet the requirements of different scenarios in large data centers. We believe that IPEC will serve as a foundation for further integrating optimal industry resources, promoting the definition of high-rate optical interconnection interface standards, and supporting the large-scale deployment of 800G products.”


Maintaining Continuous and Healthy Industry Development to Build an All-Optical Connected, Intelligent World


2020 marked the advent of 5G applications and saw the explosive development of high-bandwidth and low-latency applications such as AI. In this context, the establishment of IPEC will attract participation from the entire industry chain. Based on the concept of openness, IPEC will promote sustainable industry development by gathering the minds of global partners. Moreover, it will build a fair platform that features mutual trust to develop a comprehensive standard system and break down industry barriers. Through technological innovation and the exchange of ideas, we will unleash the potential of science and technology, expand the influence of the industry, and introduce optoelectronic technologies to various industries as well as numerous households. In this way, we will embrace an intelligent world connected by optical fibers.


Looking ahead, Ding Yong, CTO of Broadex, pointed out: “The establishment of IPEC will accelerate the standardization of market and technical requirements. It will ultimately serve our industry and promote sustainable and healthy development.” Hideki Isono, a senior FOC engineer, believes that IPEC will further unify the global optoelectronic standards: “We will be pleased to support the foundation of IPEC. We definitely believe that IPEC will take one of the key global standardization positions in a few years of activities, in addition to the existing EU & US standardization bodies.”


Over decades of industry and technical development, the optoelectronic field has harvested abundant resources and wealth. The establishment of IPEC marks a new starting point, as IPEC will aggregate innovative ideas in a centralized manner and lead partners to jointly build a healthy industry ecosystem.


Source: C114

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