Sunday, January 30, 2005

Infinera Goes Live with Photonic IC Technology

Infinera, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced the first commercial deployment of its Photonic Integrated Circuit technology. Germany's freenet is operating a nationwide network of Infinera DTNs.

Unlike conventional optical systems, which use analog optical devices for key networking functions, the Infinera DTN uses digital technology. Infinera has created its own photonic chips that combine dozens of active and passive devices for managing light. The chips converts all traffic from optical to electronic signals, allowing the DTN to add and drop, multiplex, groom, and protect circuits digitally rather than optically. Infinera's Photonic Integrated Circuits include a 100 Gbps transmitter, which integrates ten lasers, ten 10 Gbps modulators, and an optical multiplexer; as well as a 100 Gbps receiver, which integrates an optical demultiplexer and ten photodiodes. Each enables low-cost optical-electrical conversion on a semiconductor chip.

Infinera is offering an optical transport platform based on its Photonic Integrated Circuits. The
Infinera DTN supports 400 Gbps, i.e., forty 10 Gbps channels in a half rack, and 800Gbps (eighty 10 Gbps channels) in a full rack.. 100 Gbps line cards support a variety of hot-swappable client interfaces including OC-192/STM-64, OC-48/STM-16, 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN PHY and WAN PHY, and Gigabit Ethernet. The platform runs Infinera's IQ Network Operating System to automate network discovery, configuration, and provisioning via GMPLS.

Infinera said freenet selected its solution because the DTN platform is simpler to operate, delivers services faster, and offer more network flexibility than conventional optical networking systems.

  • Infinera is headed by Jagdeep Singh, who previously founded Lighter Networks, a developer of optical switching equipment that was acquired by CIENA.

  • In October 2004, Infinera raised $52 million in new funding for its Photonic Integrated Circuit technology. The company has raised $205 million to date. Strategic investors in this round include UTStarcom and CTC (Itochu Techno-Science Corporation), both of which are collaborating with Infinera to provide optical networking solutions in Asia. Infinera's investor group includes many of the world's leading venture capital firms as well as a strong group of strategic corporate investors. Venture backers include Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, JAFCO Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mobius Venture Capital, Sprout Group, Sutter Hill Ventures, Venrock Associates, and Worldview Technology Partners.