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

Cisco Employee

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 (@patchou), Cisco Optics Product Manager

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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.

Additional resources
Cisco Optics blogs: (subscribe at…iscoOpticsBlog )
Cisco Optics YouTube playlist:
Cisco Optics landing page:

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

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