Thursday, February 21, 2008

Infinera's Photonic IC Roadmap Predicts Capacity Doubling Every 3 Years

Infinera announced a product roadmap for its Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC), predicting that its capacity will continue to double every three years -- a phenomenon the company is referring to as Kish's law, after Dr. Fred Kish, one of the developers of the PIC and Infinera's VP of PIC development and manufacturing.

Infinera current PICs offer a capacity per chip of 100 Gbps and serves as the heart of the Infinera DTN Digital ROADM and Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) platform. These PICs consolidate more than 60 optical components integrating ten wavelengths operating at 10 Gbps per wavelength.

From this starting point, Infinera anticipates PIC capacity per chip to double every three years and plans to produce PICs capable of 400 Gbps per chip in 2009. This growth path is expected to continue for at least ten years, leading to the commercialization of PICs with 4 Terabits/second per chip within ten years.

At this week's OFCNFOEC 2008 conference in San Diego, Infinera is announcing the results of two lab demonstrations with significant implications for the future development path of photonic integration and high-capacity optical networks.

In the first demonstration, Infinera successfully developed and tested a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) that integrates ten wavelengths of data at 40 Gbps per wavelength, using Differential Quadrature Phase-Shift Keying (DQPSK) modulation, for an aggregate data rate of 400 Gbps. The implementation of DQPSK modulators on an Infinera PIC will enable the commercial production of the next generation of PICs, with a capacity per chip of 400 Gbps. This PIC integrates more than 100 optical devices on a single chip, more than double that of today's 100 Gbps PIC.
Infinera uses DQPSK modulation for increasing the data rate on each DWDM channel as it offers high spectral efficiency, high tolerance to impairments including dispersion, and superior optical signal-to-noise tolerance.

In the second lab demonstration, Infinera demonstrated successful transmission of data with a 100 Gbps PIC using on-chip semiconductor amplifiers (SOAs) in the S-band over a distance of 320 kilometers. Infinera contends that current DWDM networks are limited by EDFA (erbium-doped fiber amplifier) technology, which can only amplify effectively over a very limited range of the optical spectrum. Known as the C-band, this range accounts for just 4.4 TeraHertz (THz), out of a full fiber spectrum of 55 THz. Amplification by SOAs can allow transmission in spectral regions inaccessible in systems reliant upon EDFA amplification, opening up the full fiber spectrum for data transmission. In this demonstration, a ten-channel PIC with integrated SOAs successfully transmitted error-free data in the 1490 nanometer range of the S-band without external dispersion compensation.

See also