Sunday, October 19, 2008

Telcordia Develops 100 Gbps Optical Code-division Multiplexed Photonic Security

Telcordia is developing an all optical code-division multiplexed (OCDM)-based photonic layer security (PLS) system for very high data rate systems, where electronic encryption becomes increasingly expensive and difficult.

Encryption for Telcordia's OCDM-based PLS system, which is aimed at emerging 100 Gbps fiber networks, is accomplished by coding and scrambling the optical signal in such a way that the bits cannot be recovered nor be recorded for subsequent decryption. Telcordia has devised novel coding schemes and a compact, programmable coder, working with industry and university partners.

Telcordia said its approach makes use of sophisticated optical processing, in which optical frequency and phase are manipulated with high precision. In initial lab tests, OCDM-based PLS systems have demonstrated 40 Gbps optical encryption over distances up to 400km; researchers expect to demonstrate longer distances and higher bit rates (100 Gbps and beyond) in the near future. This protocol independent approach has also been shown to be compatible with conventional DWDM and optical networking.

"The ability of fiber-optics to support extremely high data rates is a double-edged sword because as these rates increase, existing electronic encryption schemes struggle to keep up. Furthermore, as the cost to purchase, deploy and manage protocol-dependent electronic encryptors increases dramatically, the value of an all-optical protocol-agnostic solution becomes obvious," said Shahab Etemad, Chief Scientist Director, Advanced Technology Solutions, Telcordia. "OCDM-based PLS systems provide a graceful yet powerful solution for securing fiber optic networks, even those with the most demanding throughput and security requirements."

  • In 2003, Telcordia envisioned such an overlay security solution for transparent DWDM networks and is currently establishing relationships with partners to further develop and deploy its OCDM-based PLS technology for the government, CSP and enterprise markets. The underlying research was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office (MTO). A detailed article about OCDM-based PLS systems, authored by Dr. Etemad, is available in the August 2008 issue of IEEE Communications Magazine, available at

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