Everybody has their own preferred way of absorbing information. Some prefer to read it, some prefer to watch it, and some prefer to listen to it. For those of you in the latter category, we have released the Cisco Optics Podcast. It lives within the Cisco Podcast Network and is available on all major and many not-so-major podcast platforms.

Check it out and look for new episodes every two weeks or so. And subscribe! Better yet, give us a (positive!) rating and review on Apple Podcast!

Cisco Optics Podcast Episode 1

How did we go from 1G to 400G? The history of pluggable optics, a conversation with Ray Nering, part 1 of 4.

Have you ever wondered why pluggable optics exist? Have you ever wondered what acronyms like QSFP, LR4, FEC, and PAM4 actually mean? In this first episode I start a conversation with my colleague Ray Nering. He explains to me how a lot of these came to be, starting from the days of 1Gb GBIC all the way up to today’s 400Gb QSFP-DD.  This is the first part of a four-episode conversation with Ray. In this episode we start at the beginning, with GBIC and SFP. He also talks about why pluggables were needed when they started and a whole bunch more.
– Pat Chou, Cisco Optics Product Manager

Ray Nering is a colleague of mine in the Cisco Optics product management group and over the years has held senior management positions at other companies in the optics space, such as AT&T Microelectronics, Lucent, JDSU, Agere, Optium, and Lightwire.

Listen to Episode 1

Apple  |  Spotify  |  Google  |  Amazon  |  TuneIn  |  Stitcher  |  Soundcloud


3:48    How did pluggable optics start
6:34    The problem with early non-pluggables
8:56    Pay as you grow model
11:00  What is SERDES
12:48  What happens when your data center grows

Music credits

Sunny Morning by FSM Team
Upbeat by Mixaund


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Additional resources

Cisco Optics Blogs

Cisco Optics YouTube Playlist

Cisco Optics Web Page


Pat Chou

Product Manager

Service Provider - Transceiver Modules Group