Cooled Optics in NG-PON2 Deployment

August 20, 2019

Next-Generation Passive Optical Network 2 (NG-PON2) is a network standard capable of delivering throughput of up to 40Gbit/s across the network. On a NG-PON2 network, each module is capable of providing up to 10Gbit/s per subscriber, in symmetric upstream and downstream speeds.

This network technology broadcasts data across fiber-optic cables for fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) telecommunications. The NG-PON2 standard uses both active filters and tunable lasers in the optical network unit, a configuration that is unique to these types of networks. It’s an emerging technology that could be implemented in the future for faster speeds and more efficient data transmission, but it may face adoption challenges, as no service providers in China are currently planning to adopt it.

Components of NG-PON2 Networks

There are two main components in NG-PON2 networks:

  • Optical line terminal (OLT): OLTs exist on the node or server side of the network; they are deployed in the network hub to receive and transmit signals throughout the network
  • Optical network unit (ONU): Also known as an optical network terminal (ONT), these components live on the end-user side of the network; they are the components that are physically deployed in homes and businesses for network connectivity

Because fiber optics don’t connect directly to customer equipment (such as a wireless router), the ONU is used at the end of the fiber optic line. It interprets the signal as telephone, TV or Internet in order to transmit that data to the end user through the proper medium.

There are substantially more ONUs in deployment than ONTs, because of the quantities needed to service every home and business. And because of higher signal transmission and reception specification requirements, NG-PON2 requires active cooling of the optoelectronic components even on the end-user side inside these ONUs.

As the transition from PON to NG-PON2 is made inside the home, for example, cooling is needed to enable functionality such as thermal optic switching and precise wavelength control to support the transmission requirements on the network. The speed at which temperature is switched becomes important, making accurate temperature control and high heat pumping density even more critical.

Reducing Costs for NG-PON2 Components

If NG-PON2 becomes widely adopted across the industry, providers will need to look for ways to ensure performance at a low cost. Because ONUs are on the end-user side, cost to the consumer becomes a huge factor. Device cost needs to stay low for consumers to subscribe to the upgraded service.

Cooled optics are a necessary solution for NG-PON2 ONUs to meet performance requirements, but overall ONU cost is also critical. That cost will either be passed down to the consumer directly, or wrapped into the total subscription price. Any major price increase over current technologies will be a deterrent to widespread adoption of NG-PON2.

Phononic’s TECs for optical communications components can help optical component developers meet the demanding wavelength control, bandwidth and speed requirements for NG-PON2 OLT and ONU modules. We design specifically for your application to ensure optimum performance. Our TECs, including the ReefTEC™ non-hermetic TEC platform, can deliver very high heat-pumping densities for quick and accurate temperature control on the fly.

ReefTEC™ from Phononic also enables reliable, cooled non-hermetic packaging, paving the way for the low-cost packaging that will be needed for cooled optics in the ONU. Contact us today to see how Phononic can help improve your package design and performance.