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Coherent Announces Optical Circuit Switch for Data Centers

PITTSBURGH, March 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coherent Corp. (NYSE: COHR), a global leader in optical communications materials, components, and subsystems, announced today the introduction of a new optical circuit switch (OCS) based on the company’s field-proven and ultrareliable Datacenter Lightwave Cross-Connect (DLX™).

Deploying an OCS-based architecture enables operators of artificial intelligence (AI) clusters to dramatically reduce the number of electrical switches required in data center networks, and, more importantly, reduces the costly optical-to-electrical-to-optical (OEO) conversions that such electrical switches require. In an OCS, data signals remain in the optical domain as they transit the switch; eliminating OEO conversion can provide dramatic cost and power consumption savings. Furthermore, unlike traditional switches, the OCS does not need to be upgraded when the AI clusters are equipped with higher-speed connections in subsequent generations. For data centers, this significantly improves the return on capital expenditure.

Coherent will hold a first-of-its-kind demo at OFC 2024 of a 300x300-port optical circuit switch based on ultrareliable DLX technology, revolutionizing data center networks for AI deployments.

Figure 1. Coherent Datacenter Lightwave Cross-Connect (DLX).

“This OCS adds to our already vibrant data center optics business,” said Chair and CEO Dr. Vincent D. (“Chuck”) Mattera, Jr. “Coherent made a very strong investment in supporting AI through our highly successful optical transceivers, and this OCS product provides further value and differentiation for that same AI ecosystem.”

OCS-based architectures are being adopted in AI networks because of their cost-effectiveness and efficiency. “AI networks demand a heightened level of reliability compared to traditional hyperscale data center applications. It is critical that the switches utilized in these AI networks do not cause any interruptions during the training or operation of large AI workloads,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “OCS switches help address the scalability, reliability, and cost challenges in AI networks.”

Coherent pioneered the use of digital liquid-crystal technology in wavelength selective switches (WSSs) over 18 years ago and has shipped more than 160,000 such WSS systems, including solutions for ultrahigh-reliability undersea applications. The company has now adapted this liquid-crystal technology into the DLXTM platform that forms the core of this OCS. Competing electromechanical approaches typically suffer from lower reliability due to the extremely high internal voltages required to operate them. By contrast, Coherent DLXTM requires exceptionally low drive voltage (less than 10 V) to switch its liquid-crystal cells.

Coherent will demonstrate a 300-port x 300-port OCS based on DLXTM technology at OFC 2024 in San Diego, March 26-28. This first-of-its-kind live demonstration based on liquid-crystal technology will illustrate the scalability and practicality of the DLXTM platform. Volume shipments of the DLXTM OCS are expected to commence in 2025.

About Coherent

Coherent empowers market innovators to define the future through breakthrough technologies, from materials to systems. We deliver innovations that resonate with our customers in diversified applications for the industrial, communications, electronics, and instrumentation markets. Headquartered in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, Coherent has research and development, manufacturing, sales, service, and distribution facilities worldwide. For more information, please visit us at


Amy Wilson
Manager, Corporate Communications

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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