Optical networks continue to evolve with greater performance and flexibility based on a foundation of CMOS chip designs as the latest designs are heading to market in 2019. The next-generation of coherent chip designs will segment into two different paths, one targeting high performance and flexibility, and the other targeting low power and area. New semiconductor design techniques, both to advance performance in spectral efficiency and circuit optimization for power efficiency, pave the way for these upcoming new generations of coherent DSP chips. The path forward for future generations of coherent chip designs with respect to CMOS process technology must be carefully considered.