As a core device, optical modules are widely used in communication equipment and are the key to 5G's realization of high bandwidth, low latency, and wide connections. The construction of 5G requires the support of tens of millions of high-performance, high-speed optical transceivers. And the accelerated commercialization of 5G will drive the rapid development of optical transceiver industry.
5G has increased demand for rates, and 25/50/100Gb/s optical transceivers become mainstream.
In order to meet the requirements of large bandwidth, low latency, and wide coverage, the 5G wireless access network architecture has evolved from a two-level structure of 4G baseband processing unit and remote radio unit to a three-level structure of centralized unit, distributed unit and active antenna unit. The corresponding bearer network architecture is also decomposed from fronthaul and backhaul networks into fronthaul, midhaul and backhaul networks. The new service has a higher requirement for speed.
5G's high-performance requirements for optical transceivers will promote the application of silicon photonics technology
The fronthaul optical transceiver works in harsh outdoor environments with industrial temperature -40℃～85℃. At the same time, as the 5G network architecture evolves from CPRI to eCPRI, optical transceivers are required to have stronger heat-resistance. The temperature may be as high as 90℃～95℃ in extreme environments.
Optical transceivers and communication equipment are gradually decoupled
For the consideration of system compatibility, communication equipment manufacturers often package optical transceivers and communication device together then provide them to operators. Operators can only passively accept it and technical solutions provided by the equipment manufacturers. As the 5G network architecture and deployment become more complex and diversified, the independent controllability of technical solutions and the pressure to reduce costs will drive operators to gradually decouple optical transceivers and communication equipment.