This article originally appeared in the May 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
Optical technologies continue to make great gains, not just in the capacity they can deliver, but also in the efficiency with which they provide it. Recent new advances in this space include coherent optics, Raman and ROADM solutions.
“Today’s present solution – simply adding more bandwidth – does not sufficiently solve the underlying capacity and efficiency problems,” says Eve Griliches (News - Alert), managing partner at ACG Research. “Instead, service providers are asking for an agile and scalable approach with fewer sites, which will enable operators to architect networks with intelligence to increase their profitability in this increasingly competitive market.”
Coherent optical processors represent a basic shift in how traffic runs over optical networks. They enable service providers to use optical network resources more flexibly and on-demand.
ADVA (News - Alert) Optical Networks is among the companies embracing coherent optical networking. The company earlier this year announced the addition of a coherent express layer to its flagship FSP 3000 product.
“Besides the obvious benefit of increasing the capacity per wavelength, the true power of the technology lies in the extra link budget gained with coherent detection,” according to the ADVA press release announcing the new capabilities. “To benefit from the extra link budget, the 100gbps capabilities are complemented by cost-effective, compact and performance-optimized amplification schemes, all fully integrated into the control plane. The new 100Gbit/s ‘pipes’ are not only bigger, but smarter as well, as the service manager has full control over the links.”
The FSP 3000 also includes what ADVA says is the latest in ROADM technology as well as Raman amplification.
The ADVA ROADM technology, which is integrated into the FSP 3000’s control plane, is based on modular building blocks that support colorless, directionless, contentionless and gridless configurations. That allows service providers to deliver any transport service on any port, over any wavelength, to any direction in a network.
The company last year introduced latency-optimized Raman amplifier technology to its solution.
“The main advantage of Raman amplification is its ability to provide amplification without the need to add supplementary fiber to the network, therefore allowing a shorter overall fiber path and faster transmission,” according to ADVA.
While erbium-doped amps boost optical signals before sending them, this new Raman technology allows amplification within the fiber itself, which reduces the number of amps needed throughout the network.
“In our trials, we have seen the new ultra low-latency Raman amplifiers reduce equipment latency by as much as 50 percent on key financial links,” says Brian Quigley, director of low-latency sales and strategy at ADVA Optical Networking (News - Alert). “This announcement is an example of ADVA Optical Networking’s continued commitment to drive latency from high-performance networks.”
The telcos and their suppliers spent years debating over how best to take the best step up from 10G technology – 40G or 100G. Now that many carriers have made that transition, or are on track to do so, those in the optical space are positioning for a whole new debate: the battle between 400G and 1 terabit.
OIF has gotten input from its service provider members, which seeing their capacity demands grow in light of bandwidth-hungry video applications and other services.
Ong says that 400G is logically the next step if you look at past increments – yet but some see 1 terabit as the way to go. All of this is still up for debate, even within the OIF, he says.
“The OIF is very active in educating and informing the industry about the technical work and collaboration taking place among the varied member companies within the forum,” says Ong. “Our members are leading the charge to bring 100G products to market quickly and cost-effectively and are looking ahead to beyond 100G.”
Edited by Stefania Viscusi