Molex showcases hybrid optical-electrical interconnects at ECOC

Claimed to be the first pluggable module for co-packaged optics, the External Laser Source Interconnect System (ELSIS) will be launched by Molex at ECOC 2022. The
system of cage, optical and electrical connectors with a pluggable module uses proven technology to speed the development of hyperscale data centres, said the company.

Molex is currently sampling the ELSIS hybrid optical electrical connector and cage system now, allowing engineers to use it for development and testing before the industry adoption of co-packaged optics (CPO). Supporting design and development materials for the module system, including 3D models, technical drawings and detailed specifications, are available now. 

CPO technology moves optical connections from the front panel to within the host system, right next to high speed ICs. “By placing the optics closer to these ASICs, CPO will address the growing complexities associated with high-speed electrical traces, including signal integrity, density and power consumption,” said Tom Marrapode, director of advanced technology development, Molex Optical Solutions.

Traditional pluggable modules have optical connections at the user side of the module. This causes concerns about eye safety when used with high power laser sources, such as those planned for CPO. As a blind-mating solution, ELSIS eliminates user access to optical fibre ports and cables, providing a complete external laser source system for safe, easy implementation and maintenance.

The use of external laser sources also means a major heat source is moved away from the optoelectronics and IC package. The design also eliminates high speed electrical I/O drivers on the IC and in pluggable modules, further reducing thermal loads and power consumption within the equipment, said Molex.

Molex is targeting Q3 2023 for release of the fully integrated solution, which will enable companies to commercialize their designs and quickly ramp production as CPO acceptance scales. 

European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) takes place in Basel, Switzerland from 19 to 21 September. Molex is exhibiting at stand number 127.

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