Episode 23 of the Cisco Optics Podcast is now posted! See below for episode notes.

Podcast episodes are now being added to the Cisco Optics playlist on YouTube!

Cisco Optics Podcast Episode 23

Cisco Optics Podcast Episode 23. How to Make Coherent Optics Small and Pluggable, with Tom Williams. Part 4 of 5.

Coherent optics have been the go-to solution for high-end optical transport systems for years. Eventually, these optics were modularized and with recent advances in DSP design and optics manufacturing, this technology is now available in small form factor pluggable modules. Cisco recognized the importance of this technology and acquired the industry’s leader in this space, Acacia Communications in March of 2021. In Episode 23, we continue our conversation with Tom Williams, Director of Technical Marketing, who joined Cisco via the Acacia acquisition. We talk about fundamental limits of communication and then get into standards.
– Pat Chou, Cisco Optics Product Manager

Tom Williams leads marketing efforts for the Acacia coherent optics team that was acquired by Cisco in March 2021. Tom has spent over 20 years developing optical transmission equipment ranging from 10G to 1.2T. He participates in a variety of coherent standardization activities in OIF, IEEE and Open ROADM and is co-chair of the OpenZR+ MSA. Tom spent nearly 15 years in various management roles at Optium, where he participated in the company’s 2006 IPO and 2008 acquisition by Finisar. Tom joined Acacia in 2015, where his role has included corporate and product marketing responsibility, as well as contributing to product roadmap definitions.

Related links

Cisco Optics-to-Device Compatibility Matrix
Cisco Optics-to-Optics Interoperability Matrix
Cisco Optics Product Information

Listen to Episode 23

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2:24     Addressing upper limits in data rate
3:45     The Shannon limit
4:11     Maximizing capacity within channel bandwidth
8:33     Application dependent trade-offs
9:32     Standards for coherent optics (e.g. 400G ZR)
14:18   Standardizing pluggable coherent optics

Music credits

Sunny Morning by FSM Team
Upbeat by Mixaund

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Additional resources

Cisco Optics Podcast
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Cisco Optics YouTube playlist
Cisco Optics landing page


Pat Chou

Product Manager

Service Provider - Transceiver Modules Group


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