This paper focuses on new generation line cards for metro/access equipment. The main topics of discussion are: serdes advancements and layer 1/layer 2 integration on line cards.

Advancements in serdes have lead to simpler interconnects to optics and backplanes. High speed interfaces between optics and ICs have lead to next generation ICs directly driving optics, while advances in backplane interfaces to 2.5G and 5G and beyond have reduced the cost per port on metro/access equipment. Direct interconnects on ICs to GbE and SONET transceivers are now possible.