Silicon Photonics 400G DR4 Optical Modules : Paving the Way for 400G Transmission

4 min readSep 21, 2023


The continuous growth of data centers and the demand for higher bandwidth and lower power consumption are driving constant innovations in optical communication technology. In this context, 400G DR4 silicon photonics products have emerged as a standout, thanks to their outstanding performance and groundbreaking technologies. Let’s delve into the overall characteristics of silicon photonics technology, its advantages in data center applications, and the key technological breakthroughs behind this achievement.

Characteristics of 400G DR4 Silicon Photonics Products

1. High Speed
400G DR4 silicon photonics products stand out with their incredibly high single-port transmission bandwidth. This high-speed capability offers greater flexibility and performance for data center applications, ensuring fast data transmission and processing.

2. Small Form Factor
Complementing their high-speed capabilities, 400G DR4 silicon photonics products come in compact form factors. They boast high panel density, providing more space for data center architecture, while accommodating the growing data demands with larger overall capacity.

3. Low Power Consumption
Despite their exceptional performance, 400G DR4 silicon photonics products prioritize energy efficiency. Their low-power design contributes to energy savings and reduces cooling requirements, a critical aspect for large data centers that helps lower operational costs.

Advantages of Matching 400G QSFP-DD DR4 Silicon Photonics Modules with 32-Port High-Capacity Switches

The perfect compatibility between 400G QSFP-DD DR4 silicon photonics modules and 32-port high-capacity switches brings a range of advantages to data centers:

1. Smallest Form Factor
With QSFP-DD packaging compliant with MSA standards, 400G QSFP-DD DR4 silicon photonics modules are currently the smallest in size among 400G optical modules. This provides 1U-high switches with exceptional port density, offering a total capacity of up to 1.28TBPS.

2. Silicon Photonics Integration Technology
These modules feature integrated components such as 7nm DSP, CW light sources, MZ modulators, silicon waveguides, detectors, and more. This internal integration significantly reduces chip size and lowers power consumption. It enhances performance while reducing energy consumption.

3. 100G PAM4 Technology
400G QSFP-DD DR4 silicon photonics modules adopt 100G PAM4 technology, including four parallel channels with a total data rate of up to 425Gbps, four times that of 100G optical modules. This delivers exceptional bandwidth performance, meeting the demands of high-speed data transmission.

Key Technological Breakthroughs in 400G QSFP-DD DR4 Silicon Photonics Modules

The success of 400G QSFP-DD DR4 silicon photonics modules relies on key technological breakthroughs, with one of the most significant being:

Silicon Lens Technology
Efficient coupling of silicon photonics is achieved through silicon lens technology. Under three temperatures, the response rate reaches as high as 0.8A/W, overcoming adverse effects like crosstalk. This technology enables perfect commercial production, ensuring customers have easy access to the superior performance of silicon photonics at 400G.

P1. Silicon Photonics Optical Module in Manufacture
P2. Silicon Photonics Optical Module in Manufacture

In conclusion, silicon photonics technology is paving the way for the future of data centers. With its high speed, small form factor, low power consumption, and compatibility with high-capacity switches, it has become a vital innovation in the field of optical communication. As data demands continue to grow, silicon photonics technology will evolve and strengthen, supporting high-performance and sustainable development in data centers. For more information on silicon photonics at 400G, please feel free to contact Gigalight.

About Gigalight

As an open optical networking explorer, Gigalight integrates the design, manufacturing, and sales of both active and passive optical devices and subsystems. The company’s product portfolio includes optical modules, silicon photonics modules, liquid-cooled modules, passive optical components, active optical cables, direct attach copper cables, coherent optical communication modules, and OPEN DCI BOX subsystems. Gigalight focuses on serving applications such as data centers, 5G transport networks, metropolitan WDM transmission, ultra-HD broadcast and video, and more. It stands as an innovative designer of high-speed optical interconnect hardware solutions.




GIGALIGHT is an open optical network device explorer focusing on data center & cloud computing, wireless & 5G, and metro & broadcast networks.