Thursday, March 23, 2017

An Ecosystem Forms to Drive 400G Forward

The next big step on the relentless march forward for Ethernet is 400 Gbit/s. This week's OFC in Los Angeles brought a flurry of activity around 400 Gbit/s and finally we are seeing efforts come together from across a broad ecosystem of module vendors, chip suppliers, test and measurement companies, network equipment suppliers, telecom companies and Internet content providers. As with previous generations, the 400 Gigabit Ethernet will appear in next-generation switches and routers used in high-density cloud data centres and in the core of carrier networks. Meanwhile, work continues on 200 Gbit/s as an interface speed for optical transport, especially in data centre interconnect (DCI) and metro networks, but the building momentum behind 400 Gbit/s seems likely to assure its place as the 'new 100 Gbit/s' as the common denominator for high-speed networks.

While there are always prototype implementations of any new technology years before a standard is ready, this time it looks as if legitimate 400 Gbit/s transceivers will hit the market this year, and switch designs capable of driving this bandwidth may soon follow. The recent Ethernet Switch - Data Centre 5-year forecast report from Dell'Oro predicts that cloud data centres will drive the transition toward 400 Gbit/s by 2019. However, it must first be shown that 400 Gbit/s works as specified, that multi-vendor interoperability is ensured, and that the famous Ethernet price curve is maintained.

Where the technology stands today

At this year's OFC, the first-generation of 400 Gigabit Ethernet pluggable transceiver modules, offered in the MSA based CFP8 form-factor, were shown. Some designs are sampling and some promise to do so soon. Testing tools for 400 Gbit/s developers are on the market and specification work has progressed and MSAs are being completed, while multi-vendor interoperability events are being held, and even the first carrier field trials are occurring.

In February, the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) approved an Implementation Agreement (IA) for an optical integrated polarisation multiplexed (PM) quadrature modulator for coherent applications with nominal symbol rates up to 64 Gbaud. The agreement supports the 16QAM modulation format for 400 Gbit/s applications.

In March, a new MSA group released a specification for a new quad small form factor pluggable double density (QSFP-DD), which is a next generation high-density, high-speed pluggable module with a QSFP28-compatible double-density interface. QSFP-DD pluggable modules can quadruple the bandwidth of networking equipment while remaining backwards compatible with existing QSFP form factors used across Ethernet, Fibre Channel and InfiniBand for 40 and 100 Gbit/s network applications. To have significant market impact, the 400 Gbit/s transceiver will need to plug into switches and routers that are 400 Gbit/s ready, and this requires switching silicon ready to support these rates.

AT&T has announced that it completed the first of a multi-phase trial testing 400 Gigabit Ethernet data speeds, using optical gear from Coriant to carry a true 400 Gigabit Ethernet service across a long-distance span of AT&T global backbone from New York to Washington. This demonstrated that AT&T's nationwide software-centric network is 400 Gbit/s-ready. A second phase of the trial will carry 400 Gigabit Ethernet on a single wavelength across its OpenROADM metro network. This phase is expected to use optical gear from Ciena. A third phase is expected to test the first instance of a 400 Gigabit Ethenet open router platform. The 'disaggregated router' platform uses merchant silicon and open source software and is expected to be another industry first.

In a post deadline paper at OFC, researchers at AT&T Labs described the trial, which encompassed an end-to-end 400 Gigabit Ethernet circuit, inclusive of 400 Gbit/s client cards with a CPF8 interface and dual-carrier 16QAM line-side. The trial demonstrated the feasibility of SDN-enabled creation, deletion and re-routing of the 400 Gbit/s service.

In addition, the Ethernet Alliance conducted a live 400 Gbit/s demo carrying traffic from its stand to four additional company booths on the show floor, namely Finisar, Xilinx, Broadcom and Viavi. All the connections were made with LR8 CFP8 transceivers over single mode fibre using 8 x 50 Gbit/s PAM4. Notably, three test equipment companies also participated - Ixia, Spirent and Viavi.

Other 400 Gbit/s announcements from OFC

Broadcom announced a comprehensive portfolio of N x 56 Gbit/s PAM4 PHY devices enabling 50, 100, 200 and 400 Gigabit Ethernet. The new 16 nm N x 56 Gbit/s PAM4 PHY enables low power PAM4 PHYs with high performance DSP-based equalisation to address both copper and optical cabling systems, including multi-mode fibre (MMF) and single-mode fibre (SMF). The PHYs are protocol agnostic to support various interconnect interfaces, including IEEE 802.3bs/cd 50/100/200/400 Gigabit Ethernet for backplane and copper cabling, CDAUI-8 chip-to-module and chip-to-chip, and OIF 56G-LR-PAM-4 for PCB and cabled backplanes.

Inphi introduced the Polaris 16 nm PAM4 DSP PHY ICs, which provide a full bi-directional interface with host ASICs that have 28 GBaud PAM4 and NRZ electrical interfaces and support bridging to 28 Gbaud PAM4 optics. The products also support retiming and gearbox functionality. The line-up includes: Polaris-400G, 8 x 56 Gbit/s PAM4, 16 x 28 Gbit/s NRZ gearbox for CFP8; and Polaris-400G (NG), 8 x 56 Gbit/s, 8 x 56 Gbit/s PAM4 retiming for OSFP/QSFP-DD.

Ixia, Cisco and Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) demonstrated 400 Gigabit Ethernet traffic with QSFP-DD via PAM4 electrical lanes, and Lumentum showcased several 400 Gbit/s transceivers, including QSFP-DD FR4, DR4 and OSFP FR4. The QSFP-DD and OSFP transceivers comply with the recently announced QSFP-DD MSA and OSFP MSA, respectively. Lumentum was an early participant and contributor to both MSAs. The new transceivers use the company’s high-performance EML (electro-absorption modulator laser) technology.

MACOM announced a complete PAM4 technology chipset for 100 Gbit/s data rates over a single wavelength enabling single fibre and four-lane parallel fibre connectivity for 100, 200 and 400 Gigabit Ethernet applications. The chipset features a new TIA, transmit and receive clock and data recovery (CDR) devices and linear EML driver module.

In addition, NeoPhotonics demonstrated a pluggable coherent CFP2-ACO module for 400 Gbit/s over data centre interconnect and metro/regional distances. The ClearLight CFP2-ACO platform uses the company's high bandwidth Class 40 coherent receiver, capable of 64 Gbaud with 16QAM to 64QAM modulation.

Oclaro announced sampling of its 400 Gbit/s CFP8 transceiver for core routers/transport applications. The CFP8 leverages Oclaro's EML laser and receiver technology and is compliant with 400GBASE-LR8 optical and 400GAUI-16 electrical interface specifications under final standardisation by the IEEE 802.3bs task force. Oclaro expects commercial production in the second half of 2017.

Finally, Viavi Solutions showcased its ONT-600 400 Gbit/s test platform, which aims to accelerate 400G deployment, from the early stages of developing and validating CFP8 FR8/LR8 modules to fully comprehensive Ethernet performance needed for system level and service validation. The company said it has recently released several applications, including enhanced FEC testing, enabling validation of performance of 400 Gbit/s elements against IEEE P802.3 bs (draft) FEC. Viavi also announced new advanced error analysis applications: all types of errors including bursts, individual bit errors and slips are characterized to quickly establish the root cause.

Watch for bigger switching silicon

One further area to keep an eye on is the progression of terabit-class switching silicon. Broadcom dominates in switching silicon but several start-ups are looking at this next step function in Ethernet bandwidth as the ideal opportunity to make a market entrance.  One such upstart is San Jose-based Innovium, which has unveiled its 12.8 Tbit/s TERALYNX scalable Ethernet silicon for data centre switches. The design is powerful enough to deliver 128 ports of 100 Gigabit Ethernet, 64 ports of 200 Gigabit Ethernet or 32 ports of 400 Gigabit Ethernet in a single device. Innovium, in partnership with Inphi, has already produced a single switch chip-based reference design for a platform supporting 12.8 Tbit/s (128 x 100 Gigabit Ethernet) QSFP28 deployments. The reference design uses Innovium's 12.8Tbit/s TERALYNX Ethernet switch silicon and Inphi's PAM4 chipset. Versions with 400 Gbit/s ports should be just over the horizon.

OFS Carries 200G over 4,500 km with TeraWave Fiber

OFS, a designer, manufacturer and supplier of fibre optic network products and solutions, announced it is showcasing the capacity and un-regenerated reach of Nokia's 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) C+L-band DWDM system over OFS TeraWave ULL fibre, enabling reduced cost-per-bit of transport across the ultra-long haul distances between hyper-scale data centres.

TeraWave ULL fibre is claimed to offer the largest available effective area for a terrestrial fibre, thereby allowing improved suppression of non-linear penalties that limit the reach of high capacity, coherent modulation formats. The company also claims that the cost-per-bit of fully lighting a TeraWave ULL fibre can be up to 50% less than that of a G.652 fibre through avoiding the need for regeneration.

The Nokia 1830 PSS networking platform is designed to support ultra-long haul performance at 200 Gbit/s using the 8QAM modulation format, and extended metro/DCI reach with high spectral efficiency. The OFS TeraWave ULL ITU-T G.654.E fibre is designed to reduce amplifier noise leveraging low nominal loss of 0.168 dB/km and to minimise non-linear distortion via its large effective area of 125 microns squared.

OFS noted that the waveguide of TeraWave ULL fibre was designed to minimise both micro- and macro-bending losses in the L-band to enable enhanced terrestrial cable performance and superior splice performance.

For extended reach metro/DCI applications, the TeraWave ULL fibre can support 400 Gbit/s capacity over up to 300 km with 100 km spans without the need for Raman amplification when used with the Nokia 1830 platform. When combined with a hybrid Raman-EDFA amplifier, the fibre can support up to 200 Gbit/s transport over distances of up to 4,500 km un-regenerated with 100 km spans.

Commenting on the demonstration, Robert Lingle, Jr., director, market and technology strategy at OFS, said, "Traffic is growing inside the networks of cloud content providers at CAGRs up to 50%, while the distance between web-scale data centres can be over 4,000 km in Europe and North America… as practical and fundamental limits make it more difficult to increase spectral efficiency in the future, C+L-band transmission (can)… double the capacity per fibre if the fibre and cable are designed for L-band wavelengths".

http://www.ofsoptics.com/index.html

Nokia and Facebook Test Trans-Atlantic Optimization

Nokia and Facebook announced they have collaborated on field trials of new optical digital signal processing technologies over a 5,500 km trans-Atlantic link between New York and Ireland.

To help address increasing demand for capacity on subsea fibre networks, Nokia and Facebook tested Nokia Bell Labs' new probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS) technology. The companies stated that the trial achieved an increase of almost 2.5x in capacity compared with the stated transmission capacity of the system, demonstrating the feasibility of using the technology across a real-world optical network.

PCS, a field of research at Nokia Bell Labs, is an advanced technique that utilises 'shaped' QAM formats to flexibly adjust transmission capacity to close to the physical limits, the Shannon limit, of a given fibre-optic link. Believed to be a first-of-its-kind experiment conducted on an installed submarine link, the test was conceived and planned by Facebook,

Nokia noted that PCS is based on 64QAM and, combined with digital nonlinearity compensation and low-linewidth lasers, enabled a claimed record spectral efficiency of 7.46 b/s/Hz, indicating the potential to upgrade this cable to 32 Tbit/s per fibre in the future. The test also included round-trip submarine transmission over 11,000 km using 'shaped' 64QAM with spectral efficiency of 5.68 b/s/Hz.

During the trial transmission tests based on the commercially available Nokia Photonic Service Engine 2 (PSE-2) validated the transmission of 8QAM wavelengths running at 200 Gbit/s and 16QAM wavelengths running at 250 Gbit/s, which is believed to be a first for trans-Atlantic transmission. The 200 Gbit/s 8QAM wavelengths supported a spectral efficiency of 4 b/s/Hz while also exhibiting sufficient performance margin for commercial operation.

Nokia and Facebook stated that the results of the trial will be presented in a post-deadline paper at the OFC 2017.

http://www.nokia.com

Finisar Shows 400, 200 and 100G Pluggables

Finisar, a major supplier of subsystems and components for fibre optic communications, announced multiple optics product and technology demonstrations at OFC, including new 400 Gbit/s CFP8 FR8 and LR8 transceiver, 200 Gbit/s QSFP56 FR4 and LR4 transceiver and a 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 eSR4 extended reach transceiver modules.

The company will also demonstrate its new Flexgrid single low-profile wavelength selective switch (WSS) for next generation ROADM subsystems during the OFC event.

400 Gbit/s CFP8 FR8 and LR8 transceivers

Finisar will hold multiple demonstrations of its MSA-compliant 400 Gbit/s CFP8 transceiver, enabled by 50 Gbit/s PAM4 technology. The CFP8 module family includes an FR8 version supporting 2 km reach and an LR8 version for 10 km reach, both operating over single mode fibre. The modules are designed for applications in router-to-router and router-to-transport client interfaces.

At OFC, optical cables will link a number of booths to create a network of systems and test equipment platforms to demonstrate error-free live traffic transmission at 400 Gbit/s using working Finisar CFP8 modules.

200 Gbit/s QSFP56 LR4 transceiver

Finisar's new 200 Gbit/s QSFP56 optical module is an evolution of the four lane QSFP+ form factor designed for hyperscale data centre and high performance computing (HPC) environments. The 200 Gbit/s QSFP56 family initially includes an FR4 version for 2 km and an LR4 version for 10 km reach over single mode fibre. The module utilises 4 x 50 Gbit/s PAM4 electrical and optical interfaces and is designed to work with next generation of switching silicon to enable 6.4 Tbit/s in a 1 RU configuration.

The demonstration at OFC will feature an LR4 module designed for 10 km reach as per the IEEE 200GBASE-LR4 standard.

100 Gbit/s QSFP28 eSR4 transceiver

Finisar's latest 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 extended SR4 (eSR4) module offers long reach over multimode fibre (MMF) and targets enterprises and large data centre applications. Finisar noted that IEEE 100GBASE-SR4 species 70 metres over OM3 fibre or 100 metres over OM4 fibre; the new QSFP28 eSR4 module enables 300 metres over OM3 fibre and 400 metres over OM4 fibre to address typical 10 and 40 Gbit/s applications.

The extended reach capability allows data centres and enterprises with installed multimode fibre to use existing fibre plant to upgrade to 100 Gbit/s. The product employs parallel optics and can interoperate in a fan-out configuration with four of Finisar's 25 Gbit/s SFP28 eSR transceivers. A demonstration will show two Finisar 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 eSR4 transceivers connected over 300 metres of OM3 fibre, with traffic generated and measured by an Anritsu MT1100A network master flex.

Flexgrid single low profile WSS

The new single low profile WSS, designed for single-slot ROADM line cards, expands Finisar's portfolio of WSS based on its Flexgrid and LCoS technology. The ITU Flexible Grid-compliant device enables dynamic deployment of bandwidth at 6.25 GHz spectral width and intra-channel attenuation control to enhance performance over an optical link.

The WSS is offered in configurations from 1 x 2 to 1 x 9 and supports next generation express and colourless/directionless add/drop architectures. The OFC demonstration will feature a 1 x 9 WSS configured to switch a mix of transceiver and ASE inputs to a common output port.

http://www.finisar.com

Oclaro Announces 1 Tbit/s Dual Wavelength PM-QMZ External Modulator

Oclaro announced that it has expanded its lithium niobate (LiNbO3) portfolio with a dual wavelength PM-QMZ external modulator for data rates up to 1 Tbit/s and that at OFC it is hosting an interoperability demonstration showcasing a 100 Gbit/s ER4-Lite QSFP28 and CFP2 over 40 km single-mode optical fibre (SMF).

New PM-QMZ modulator

The new dual wavelength PM-QMZ modulator joins Oclaro's established high-bandwidth single carrier PM-QMZ (polarisation multiplexed quad parallel Mach-Zehnder) modulator line that was launched in 2015 and has been tested in labs and R&D centres operating at symbol rates up to 64 Gbaud and with different modulation formats up to 128QAM.

Oclaro's dual wavelength PM-QMZ LiNbO3 external modulator is designed to support data rates up to 1 Tbit/s utilising two wavelengths 'packed' into a single gold box. The modulator is a high electro-optic bandwidth PM-QMZ device that integrates into a hermetic package two PM-QMZ sets, each featuring an input beam splitter, four parallel Mach-Zehnder modulators configured for I-Q modulation, a polarisation combiner and monitor photodiodes for power and bias control.

Key features of the new product include: 3 dB electro-optic bandwidth exceeding 28 GHz; smooth optical response up to 45 GHz, enabling symbol rates up to 45 Gbaud; extinction ratio above 25 dB for complex modulation formats; insertion loss below 12 dB; and support for L-Band operation.

Interoperability demonstration

The demonstration of 100 Gbit/s ER4-Lite QSFP28 and CFP2 over 40 km single-mode fibre (SMF) is designed to show how ER4-Lite solutions can deliver the low power and low cost required to enable 100 Gbit/s in the access and core networks where longer reach is required.

Oclaro noted that as 100 Gbit/s technology is deployed in metro and access networks, operators require 100 Gbit/s client interfaces able to provide 40 km reach without the use of amplifiers. The new ER4-Lite specification is designed to enable cost-effective 100 Gbit/s 40 km pluggable solutions in compact QSFP28 transceivers with FEC and APD-based receivers.

The new Oclaro QSFP28 ER4-Lite device, which complements the existing CFP2 product, leverages the company's proven 28 Gbit/s EML as used in its CFPx and QSFP28 LR4 product families. The ER4-Lite QSFP28, which is currently sampling, can support 100 Gigabit Ethernet and OTU4 applications with up to 40 km reach with FEC, or 30 km without FEC, and is interoperable with existing ER4 solutions up to 30 km.

Oclaro noted that QSFP28 has been standardised by ITU-T as G.959.1 4L1-9D1F and is being standardised by the newly established 4-Wavelength WDM MSA group.

http://www.oclaro.com

Fujitsu Intros Access-agnostic Virtual Access Network for SMBs

Fujitsu Network Communications has introduced its Virtual Access Network (VAN) solution, designed to address the cost and time barriers for small-to-medium business (SMB) service deployment by eliminating the need for purpose-built routing devices and manual provisioning and allowing the use of any access technology to deliver services, and will showcase the solution at OFC 2017.

Fujitsu noted that SD-WAN and access services can be cost-prohibitive for SMB customers, thereby resulting in an underserved market. Fujitsu's new VAN solution is designed to enable delivery of SMB services more cost-effectively by removing the need for operators to deploy CPE routing devices requiring manual, on site provisioning. VAN also provides a single solution that can be used to deliver virtualised products using multiple access technologies.

The VAN solution helps to minimise service delivery time and costs leveraging features including centralised compute resources. By virtualising and centralising network functions, the solution both improves performance and makes services easier to manage.

Fujitsu's VAN solution comprises a services gateway unit, a low-cost whitebox that can support services over any access medium, a plan and provision tool that allows zero-touch plug-and-play provisioning, and a virtual private service VNF that serves to replace traditional routers.

The complete solution is designed to help operators: deploy new services without the need for manual provisioning; deliver seamless access regardless of underlying technology, whether fibre, copper, HFC, WiFi or LTE; reduce the cost of service delivery; and enable the delivery of competitively priced services to end customers.

Corning and Kaiam Demo CoPPhI

Kaiam, a privately-held developer of hybrid photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology, and Corning announced they are showcasing an optical engine and single-mode fibre interface connector designed to be co-packaged with a 12.8 Tbit/s switch chip at the 2017 OFC in Los Angeles.

The companies stated that by converting high-speed signals to optical within the switch package, the high-density engine based on co-packaged photonic interconnect (CoPPhI) technology can potentially enable up to a halving in chip interconnect power consumption.

Kaiam noted that prior to CoPPhI, the sub-micron alignment tolerances required in single-mode optical packaging presented a barrier to creating practical co-packaged single-mode optical interconnect solutions, while the reduced power consumption provided by CoPPhI-enabled switches can address a key impediment to data centre growth.

At OFC, the demonstration by Corning and Kaiam features a prototype connector, with the optics capable of delivering 1.6 Tbit/s from four fibres at 400 Gbit/s per fibre, or lambda (4 λ), extendable to 8 λ. The demonstration interoperates at 25 Gbit/s per λ with a standard CWDM4 transceiver.

It was noted that multiple CoPPhI engines can be co-packaged in close proximity to the four sides of a switch ASIC to support over 12 Tbit/s of optical connectivity. Single-mode fibres interface to the engine via a low-profile connector compatible with electronic packaging and assembly processes, including solder reflow.

With the 12.8 Tbit/s switch IC generation, the companies stated that the power required to drive signals over a PCB between the switch IC and the optical module will equal the power required for the switching function. By shrinking the optics and pushing the electrical-optical conversion point close to the switch IC, the required line drive power can be minimised.

Separately, Kaiam announced that it plans to acquire the manufacturing facilities of Compound Photonics (CP) in Newton Aycliffe in the UK through a transaction hat includes investment by CP into Kaiam to develop the facility. Subject to final approvals, the agreement is expected to close in the second quarter.

The manufacturing space acquired through the deal will enable expansion of Kaiam's datacom transceiver manufacturing capacity and also includes a cleanroom for processing of III-V devices, including pHEMTs, HBTs, photodetectors and lasers. Kaiam noted that the new facility will advance its strategy of vertical integration.

Previously, Kaiam acquired Gemfire, its strategic PLC supplier, in 2013 and currently operates an 8 inch silica-on-silicon line for the fabrication of integrated optical components in Gemfire's Livingston facility in Scotland. It also operates 40 and 100 Gbit/s optical packaging lines at the facility that are nearing capacity due to rising demand.

The new facility in Newton Aycliffe and its wafer-fab will allow Kaiam to expand its silica-on-silicon and transceiver manufacturing and in the future enable it to add integrated InP photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for advanced transceivers.

Regarding the joint solution with Corning, Rob Kalman, Kaiam VP of marketing, said, "On-board optics such as COBO allow the industry to explore post-pluggable usage models but still require power-hungry electrical interfaces… Kaiam is working on the part of the problem that eliminates this power while also addressing the cost and density needs of hyperscale data centre customers".

Nistica unveils FLEXBOX grid-flexible, disaggregated ROADM

Nistica, a Fujikura subsidiary and supplier agile optical networking solutions, has unveiled FLEXBOX, a disaggregated ROADM node designed for next-generation software defined networks (SDN), and plans to work with existing system vendor customers to deliver the product to carriers and webscale end customers.

Offered in single rack unit (1 RU) form-factors, Nistica's products are designed to enable broadcast-and-select and route-and-select architectures by integrating its grid-flexible single and dual C-band and L-band wavelength selective switches (WSS).

For the new solution, Nistica has leveraged gain-controlled optical amplification derived from its expertise in ROADM blade optical signal control loops that is incorporated with the WSS technology to enable an automated optical layer for carriers seeking hands-free operation via software control.

Nistica is introducing a customised black-box model whereby OEMs can specify optical layer differentiators, as well as tailor the software layer to offer advanced optical capabilities to end customers. Based on standardised SDN support of NetConf and RestConf network management interfaces through Yang models, FLEXBOX is designed to be compatible with emerging standards within collaborative platforms such as OpenROADM and Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP).

Nistica is demonstrating the functionality of the FLEXBOX solution at OFC 2017 in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

AT&T Conducts 400G Field Trial

AT&T completed the first of a multi-phase trial testing 400 gigabit Ethernet data speeds. This first phase used optical gear from Coriant to carry a true 400GbE service across a long-distance span of AT&T global backbone from New York to Washington, demonstrating that AT&T’s nationwide software-centric network is 400G-ready.

A second phase of the trial will carry a 400GbE on a single 400G wavelength across AT&T’s OpenROADM metro network. This phase is expected to use optical gear from Ciena.

 A third phase is expected to test the first instance of a 400GbE open router platform. The “disaggregated router” platform uses merchant silicon and open source software – and this is expected to be another industry first.

“Our approach to roll out the next generation of Ethernet speeds is working. We continue to see enormous data growth on our network, fueled by video. And this will help with that growth,” said Rick Hubbard, senior vice president, AT&T Network Product Management.

In a post deadline paper at OFC, researchers at AT&T Labs described the trial, which encompassed an end-to-end 400G Ethernet circuit, inclusive of 400GbE client cards with a CPF8 interface and dual-carrier 16QAM line-side. The trial demonstrated the feasibility of SDN-enabled creation, deletion, and re-routing of the 400G service.

http://www.att.com

Mellanox Intros Silicon Photonics-based 200G Transceivers

Mellanox Technologies introduced a new line of new line of 200 Gbit/s silicon photonics and VCSEL-based transceivers in a QSFP28 package and 100 Gbit/s silicon photonics components designed for hyperscale Web 2.0 and cloud optical interconnect applications.

200 Gbit/s transceivers

Mellanox new 200 Gbit/s silicon photonics and VCSEL-based transceivers are offered in the same QSFP28 package as current 100 Gbit/s products and target hyperscale Web 2.0 and cloud 100 Gbit/s networks. Mellanox is also introducing 200 Gbit/s active optical cables (AOCs) and direct attach copper cables (DACs), including breakout cables, enabling end-to-end 200 Gbit/s Ethernet networks.

Specifically, Mellanox is introducing the following 200 Gbit/s products:

1.  1550 nm DR4 QSFP28 silicon photonics transceiver for reach up to 500 metres on single mode fibre.

2.  SR4 VCSEL QSFP28 transceiver for reach up to 100 metres on OM4 multi-mode fibre.

3.  QSFP28 AOC for reach up to 100 metres.

4.  QSFP28 DAC cable for reaches up to 3 metres.

5.  QSFP28 to 4 x 50 Gbit/s SFP28 copper splitter cables for connecting 50 Gbit/s servers to ToR switches.

Mellanox noted that the transceivers and DACs support the new IEEE 200GAUI electrical standard using 25 GBaud PAM4 signalling.

100 Gbit/s silicon photonics components

Mellanox also unveiled new 100 Gbit/s silicon photonics components and announced the availability of the following solutions:

1.  PSM4 silicon photonics 1550 nm transmitter with flip-chip bonded DFB lasers and attached 1 metre fibre pigtail for reach up to 2 km.

2.  PSM4 silicon photonics 1550 nm transmitter with flip-chip bonded DFB lasers and attached fibre stub for connectorised transceivers with reach up to 2 km.

3.  Low-power 100 Gbit/s (4 x 25 Gbit/s) modulator driver IC.

4.  PSM4 silicon photonics 1310 and 1550 nm receiver array with 1 metre fibre pigtail.

5.  PSM4 silicon photonics 1310 and 1550 nm receiver array for connectorised transceivers.

6.  Low-power 100 Gbit/s (4 x 25 Gbit/s) trans-impedance amplifier IC.


At OFC Mellanox held live demonstrations of its end-to-end solutions, including: Spectrum 100 Gbit/s QSFP28/ SFP28 switches; ConnectX-4 and ConnectX-5 25/50/100 Gbit/s QSFP28/SFP28 network adapters; LinkX 25/50/100 Gbit/s DAC and AOC cables and 100 Gbit/s SR4 and PSM4 transceivers; Quantum switches with 40 ports of 200 Gbit/s QSFP28 in a 1 RU chassis; and ConnectX-6 adapters with 2 ports of 200 Gbit/s QSFP28.

ADVA enhances FSP 3000 CloudConnect for 600G

ADVA Optical Networking unveiled its next generation terminal for the FSP 3000 CloudConnect, designed for hyperscale data centre interconnect (DCI) applications, with the TeraFlex solution, enabling transport of 600 Gbit/s of data over a single wavelength for total duplex capacity of 3.6 Tbit/s in a single rack unit.

ADVA claims that the new TeraFlex terminal delivers 50% greater density than competing technology and enables the ADVA FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform to meet the demands of Internet content providers (ICPs) and carrier-neutral providers (CNPs) seeking scale their DCI networks to support data traffic growth.

The new TeraFlex terminal expands the capabilities of the FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform, launched in 2015 and designed to offer an open, modular and scalable solution for DCI applications.

The FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform is offered as a complete solution or as a disaggregated open line system (OLS). ADVA noted that by decoupling the terminal functions from the line system, customers have the ability to change and optimise each network layer separately and according to different development cycles.

In addition, via open APIs and management interfaces, the ADVA FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform is able to support any DCI architecture.

Recently, ADVA enhanced the FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform with direct detect open optical layer functionality, offering an alternative for customers that do not wish to deploy traditional coherent solutions. The direct detect technology is available either as an open line system (OLS) in a disaggregated form or as a complete solution incorporating the terminal and line system. A key feature of the OLS solution is SmartAmp technology, which enables direct detect transmissions to be transported up to 100 km.

Describing the CloudConnect platform, Stephan Rettenberger, SVP, marketing and investor relations at ADVA, said, "… the FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform (offers) a choice of terminal options… coherent optics, direct detect solutions and even support (for) alien wavelengths… ADVA is pushing the boundaries of what open DCI technology can be".

http://www.advaoptical.com

Facebook shows its progress with Open Compute Project

The latest instalment of the annual Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit, which was held March 8-9 in Silicon Valley, brought new open source designs for next-generation data centres. It is six years since Facebook launched OCP and it has grown into quite an institution. Membership in the group has doubled over the past year to 195 companies and it is clear that OCP is having an impact in adjacent sectors such as enterprise storage and telecom infrastructure gear.

The OCP was never intended to be a traditional standards organisation, serving more as a public forum in which Facebook, Microsoft and potentially other big buyers of data centre equipment can share their engineering designs with the industry. The hyper-scale cloud market, which also includes Amazon Web Services, Google, Alibaba and potentially others such as IBM and Tencent, are where the growth is at. IDC, in its Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, estimates total spending on IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage and Ethernet switches) for deployment in cloud environments will increase by 18% in 2017 to reach $44.2 billion. Of this, IDC estimates that 61% of spending will be by public cloud data centres, while off-premises private cloud environments constitute 15% of spending.

It is clear from previous disclosures that all Facebook data centres have adopted the OCP architecture, including its primary facilities in Prineville (Oregon), Forest City (North Carolina), Altoona (Iowa) and Luleå (Sweden). Meanwhile, the newest Facebook data centres, under construction in Fort Worth (Texas) and Clonee, Ireland are pushing OCP boundaries even further in terms of energy efficiency.

Facebook's ambitions famously extend to connecting all people on the planet and it has already passed the billion monthly user milestone for both its mobile and web platforms. The latest metrics indicate that Facebook is delivering 100 million hours of video content every day to its users; 95+ million photos and videos are shared on Instagram on a daily basis; and 400 million people now use Messenger for voice and video chat on a routine basis.

At this year's OCP Summit, Facebook is rolling out refreshed designs for all of its 'vanity-free' servers, each optimised for a particular workload type, and Facebook engineers can choose to run their applications on any of the supported server types. Highlights of the new designs include:

·         Bryce Canyon, a very high-density storage server for photos and videos that features a 20% higher hard disk drive density and a 4x increase in compute capability over its predecessor, Honey Badger.

·         Yosemite v2, a compute server that features 'hot' service, meaning servers do not need to be powered down when the sled is pulled out of the chassis in order for components to be serviced.

·         Tioga Pass, a compute server with dual-socket motherboards and more IO bandwidth (i.e. more bandwidth to flash, network cards and GPUs) than its predecessor, Leopard, enabling larger memory configurations and faster compute time.

·         Big Basin, a server designed for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, optimised for image processing and training neural networks. Compared to its predecessor, Big Basin can train machine learning models that are 30% larger due to greater arithmetical throughput and by implementing more memory (12 to 16 Gbytes).

Facebook currently has web server capacity to deliver 7.5 quadrillion instructions per second and its 10-year roadmap for data centre infrastructure, also highlighted at the OCP Summit, predicts that AI and machine learning will be applied to a wide range of applications hosted on the Facebook platform. Photos and videos uploaded to any of the Facebook services will routinely go through machine-based image recognition and to handle this load Facebook is pursuing additional OCP designs that bring fast storage capabilities closer to its compute resources. It will leverage silicon photonics to provide fast connectivity between resources inside its hyper-scale data centres and new open source models designed to speed innovation in both hardware and software.

Luxtera unveils Duplex 100G CWDM2 QSFP with PAM4

Luxtera, a leading supplier of silicon photonics solutions, announced the sampling of its 100G-CWDM2 QSFP optical transceiver module based on its latest silicon photonics chipset and targeting applications in cloud, enterprise and high performance computing,

Luxtera's new LUX45202 optical transceiver is a 100 Gbit/s duplex solution developed for 100 Gbit/s deployments for cloud, enterprise and high performance computing end users, and is designed to offer high performance and reliability at a low price point. The solution implements PAM4 modulation, enabling the device to deliver using two lasers the performance that current solutions require four lasers to achieve.

The new LUX45202 transceiver module offers key features including:

1. 100 Gbit optical transceiver in QSFP28-compliant form-factor.

2. Multi-rate capability, with support for 10.3125, 20.625 or 25.78125 Gbit/s per electrical channel.

3. Support for CWDM2 and reach of over 2 km.

4. Power consumption of less than 3.5 W.

Luxtera's LUX45202 100 Gbit/s duplex CWDM2 optical transceiver is currently sampling to select customers, with volume production scheduled for the second half of 2017.

Recently, Luxtera announced a partnership with TSMC for next generation silicon photonics manufacturing. Under the agreement, Luxtera and TSMC are developing a new silicon photonics technology platform designed to double optical link performance while enabling four times the raw data rate of existing silicon photonics solutions. The technology will provide SoC integration of optical interconnect with the CMOS logic for applications including network switch, storage and compute solutions.

Cavium and Elenion offer silicon photonics-based reference architecture

Cavium, a provider of semiconductor products designed to enable secure, intelligent packet processing, and Elenion Technologies, a developer of silicon photonics technology, announced an end-to-end reference architecture for use in enterprise and cloud data centres.

Integrating Cavium's QLogic network interface cards (NICs) and XPliant-based switches, with Elenion's silicon photonics on-board optics, the direct fibre-to-the-server and parallel multi-channel on-board solution for switches is designed to provide increased bandwidth to the server, aggregation at 400 Gbit/s and beyond, lower power consumption and offer a path to achieving the target of less than $1 per Gbit.


For the joint solution, Cavium is contributing its QLogic high performance, multi-protocol Ethernet adapters, which support 10/25/40/100 Gbit/s speeds, and the XPliant Ethernet switch family, providing a high throughput, programmable data centre switching solution.

Cavium noted that platforms based on the XPliant Ethernet switches are able to leverage its programmatic control of table resources and pipeline logic to address the specific needs of the network architecture, while also providing a high degree of packet visibility and telemetry.

Cavium and Elenion are displaying the reference design for fibre-to-the-server solutions during OFC 2017 in Los Angeles. A demonstration based on Elenion's next-generation photonics platform and packaging technology, combined with the Cavium solutions, showcases advanced on-board transceivers with light sources integrated onto the silicon photonics to enable a scalable, cost disruptive on-board solutions for NIC and switch applications within the data centre.


Recently, Coriant introduced a short reach CFP2-ACO pluggable module for its Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform (NDP) that included silicon photonics technology from Elenion, The Groove short reach CFP2-ACO pluggable is designed to enable cost-optimised, power-efficient 200 Gbit/s connectivity for carrier transport and DCI applications.

EXFO launches FTB-4 Pro platform for spectral and transport

EXFO has announced the launch of the FTB-4 Pro platform for 100 Gbit/s networks, which it claims is the most compact platform for testing high speed and optical networks, expanding the company's test orchestration portfolio designed to enable efficient and scalable network testing in support of field operations, network performance assurance and service delivery.

EXFO's new 4 slot modular FTB-4 Pro platform combines support for 100 Gbit/s commissioning, turn-up and troubleshooting. The solution includes the FTBx-88200NGE 100 Gbit/s multi-service tester featuring its iOptics transceiver validation software, and the FTB-5240S-P optical spectrum analyser. The solution is designed to eliminate the need for additional platforms or swap modules by enabling transport and spectral testing using a single platform.

The FTB-4 Pro platform supports a range of modules for field testing, data centre interconnect, submarine testing and lab applications to provide increased flexibility and support testing across all phases of the service delivery chain, from development to deployment, maintenance and troubleshooting.

Additional module combinations provided by the FTB-4 Pro platform also include iOLM/OTDRs, OLTS for fibre characterisation, dispersion solutions and other transport modules, all of which offer compatibility with EXFO's fibre inspection probes.

EXFO noted that the FTB-4 Pro platform features a 10-inch high-resolution widescreen display and a QUAD core processor and operates on the latest Microsoft Windows 10 OS.

http://www.exfo.com

Menara samples C-band tunable coherent CFP-DCO transceivers

Menara Networks, an IPG Photonics business and vertically integrated provider of IP/Ethernet DWDM transport solutions, has announced immediate sampling of its coherent CFP-DCO transceivers to select customers.

Based on an advanced 16 nm coherent processor, Menara's latest digital CFP-DCO DWDM transceiver is designed to support DWDM coherent transmission for 100 and 200 Gbit/s per wavelength in a CFP MSA form factor. The device performs functionality including adaptive advanced modulation, digital signal processing for linear and non-linear fibre impairments compensation, G.709-compliant OTN framing and a range of hard and soft decision-based FEC encoding/decoding.


Compatible with 100 Gigabit Ethernet, CAUI, OTL4.10 and OTL 4.4 interfaces, Menara's new coherent CFP-DCO is full C-band tunable and offers support for ITU-T G.694.1 12.5 GHz flexible grid. The solution is designed to support ZR, data centre interconnection (DCI), metro and long haul network applications.

At OFC 2017, Menara is showcasing its new coherent CFP-DCO transceivers on a 250 km repeater-less fibre link featuring IPG Photonics' compact hybrid EDFA/Raman Optical Services Transport Platform (OSTP). The company will also demonstrate its transceiver solution integrating C-band tunability, OTN framing and FEC in a SFP+ transceiver MSA form factor.


In March 2016, Menara announced the availability of a MSA CFP-2 100 Gbit/s adapter module designed to accommodate QSFP28 transceivers covering all 100 Gbit/s MSAs and reaches. Menara claimed this was the first solution able to adapt any MSA QSFP28 100 Gbit/s module into a MSA-compliant CFP2 100 Gbit/s module.

FatPipe enhances SD-WAN with L2/3 load balancing

FatPipe Networks, the developer of software-defined networks for wide area connectivity and hybrid WANs, has announced its Next Gen SD-WAN platform, version 9, which is designed to simplify the management of a WAN and provide load balancing for Layer 2 and 3 networks, thereby eliminating the need for routers.

FatPipe's Next Gen Version 9 SD-WAN platform is designed to enable customers to fully integrate its SDN at the data centre with the SD-WAN at the branch level, providing a scalable SDN + SD-WAN solution that is claimed to offer superior functionality to current SD-WAN products. In addition, virtual versions are available for Amazon and Azure platforms, plus VMWare and other popular platforms.

FatPipe's latest Next Gen SD-WAN platform is designed to deliver feature including:

1. Layer 2 and 3 support, enabling routed and switched topologies for global SDN deployments that bridge the LAN and WAN, while also providing low-latency performance and enabling lower-cost deployments.

2. New configuration design with a web-based interface that scales for any screen and offers a unified view across the network and a simplified configuration view to help bring appliances online.

3. New auto-configuration functionality designed to reduce the complexity of configuring multiple appliances, with MPSec, VPN and policy routing rules propagated to remote/branch devices automatically from a central location, plus improved support for legacy routing protocols via BGP and OSPF support.

4. Application visibility and performance allow application flows to be managed across the WAN, with enhanced flexibility in application identification and control over flow direction and a holistic view across the network providing granular application visibility.

FatPipe's 'branch in a box' SD-WAN product integrates all branch requirements, including multi-line load balancing, firewall, VPN, QoS and local Smart DNS. The company noted that with Smart DNS hosted at the local branch, if the cloud-based management product, FatPipe Orchestrator, is inaccessible, the local appliances can continue to perform and transmit data.

http://www.fatpipeinc.com/

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ciena Opens WaveLogic to Lumentum, NeoPhotonics and Oclaro

Ciena announced it is extending the market reach of its WaveLogic coherent modem technology by making it available to a number of industry participants, with optical component companies Lumentum, NeoPhotonics and Oclaro to leverage WaveLogic technology to develop coherent optical modules for a range of applications.

Additionally, each of the companies will join an ecosystem that will focus on standards-based product development, designed to provide customer choice in the emerging 400 Gbit/s pluggable market, which is being driven by increasing data centre interconnect (DCI) requirements.

Ciena stated that while retaining its intellectual property rights, through the initiative it will provide its WaveLogic Ai chipset to Lumentum, NeoPhotonics and Oclaro. The partners will each be responsible for the manufacture, sale and distribution of Ciena-designed 5 x 7 coherent modules based on a combination of the WaveLogic technology and electro-optics components.

In addition, under the agreement the partner companies will contribute to the ongoing development of 400 Gbit/s pluggable technologies and the establishing of specifications for adoption by relevant industry forums and standards-setting bodies. Ciena intends to invest in further developing coherent DSP technology, which its partners will then be able to utilise in the development of 400 Gbit/s pluggable modem solutions for hardware and systems vendors.

Lumentum, NeoPhotonics and Oclaro will also support the creation of a roadmap for future generations of coherent optical modules based on Ciena's WaveLogic technology.

Separately, Oclaro announced it has been selected by Ciena as a partner for the development of 400 Gbit/s coherent networks leveraging Ciena's 56 Gbaud WaveLogic Ai coherent DSP chipset. The technology will be used to develop programmable modules supporting up to 400 Gbit/s rates.

Oclaro stated that it expects to sample its first 400 Gbit/s flex coherent transponders based on the WaveLogic Ai DSP chipset by the end of the year. The device will feature a single wavelength transmitter in a 5 x 7 inch form factor designed to support flexible bandwidth for 400, 300, 200 and 100 Gbit/s applications.

http://www.ciena.com