In this paper we discuss the nature of and requirements for data center interconnects. We then demonstrate a switch-pluggable, 4.5 W, 100 Gbit/s, silicon-photonics-based, PAM4, QSFP-28 module to transport Ethernet data directly over DWDM for layer 2/3 connection between switches at data centers up to 120 km apart, thereby eliminating the need for a separate optical transport layer. The module, based on the direct detect modulation format, is of much reduced complexity, power, and cost compared to the coherent systems that are currently being deployed for this application.
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