Monday, April 2, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent to acquire Tropic Networks for Wavelength Tracker ROADM

Alcatel-Lucent will acquire Canadian-based Tropic Networks, a developer of metro optical transport systems, for an undisclosed sum. This transaction builds upon the collaboration the two companies established in July 2004 with the Alcatel-Lucent investment and global supply agreement.

Tropic Networks features a "Wavelength Tracker" technology that tags each wavelength in the DWDM layer with a unique signature that tracks, monitors and reports faults -- without requiring any additional DWDM transponders. This capability even distinguishing between multiple instances of the same color traveling through the network. Tropic said its Wavelength Tracker allows carriers to expand their optical services without adding unnecessary cost, yet still maintaining critical management capabilities. Tropic supports an IP-over-DWDM capability that allows third party transponders to be launched directly from the switch/router into the DWDM layer together with associated optical management and power control. A major cable operator has been using this IP over DWDM solution in their network for several years.

Alcatel-Lucent described the acquisition as a new, strategic step in focusing on cable MSO and telecom operators' key requirements for simplified network planning, accelerated wavelength/service provisioning and advanced optical monitoring technology. The further integration of key intellectual property developed by Tropic Networks, namely the Wavelength Tracker, enhances the competitiveness of Alcatel-Lucent's optical product portfolio. In combination with Alcatel-Lucent's ROADM technology, the advanced optical layer management technology developed by Tropic Networks delivers the flexibility and security to maximize network efficiency and operational cost savings. In addition, this acquisition provides for uninterrupted supply to Alcatel-Lucent and Tropic Networks' customers.

  • In January 2007, Tropic Networks announced a new means to measure chromatic dispersion in fiber networks. The new Wavelength Tracker technology enables Tropic to characterize the loss characteristics of each wavelength across an entire network, providing carriers with a chromatic dispersion map of their networks and enabling them to adapt as needed. Chromatic dispersion limits the optical network reach and data rate that the network can support. The issue becomes increasing critical at higher transmission, especially 40 Gbps.

    Tropic Networks already offered the capability to uniquely identify wavelengths (including multiple instances of the same ITU grid wavelength) and provide colorless add/drops on its ROADM modules.

  • Tropic Networks was founded in May 2000 by Kevin Rankin, formerly co-founder of the Broadband Copper Access division at Newbridge Networks; Dr. Dan Oprea, former senior architect at Nortel Networks and Mitel; Dave Coomber, former assistant VP of xDSL at Newbridge Networks; and Ben Bacque, co-founder of the Broadband Copper Access division at Newbridge Networks.

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