Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Level 3 introduces encrypted wavelength service

Level 3 Communications has launched an encrypted wavelength service to help global enterprises secure their optical connections from unlawful interception and fiber tapping.

The encrypted waves service, which uses AES 256-bit encryption, provides enterprises with a single network view. Customers maintain complete control over their encryption keys via the MyLevel3 portal and a Level 3-provided key management system.

Unlike with cloud-based encryption schemes, Level 3 says its optical layer service does not incur a performance penalty, ultra-low latency is preserved and there is no throughput degredation. In addition, customers do not need to invest in in additional encryption equipment to leverage encrypted waves between key customer locations.

"Every element of a critical network today has to be hardened against security attacks. Level 3 encrypted waves offer enterprises peace of mind by addressing security threats such as unlawful interception and fiber tapping, without sacrificing network performance. Unlike other optical encryption solutions on the market today, our solution provides greater direct customer control with built-in encryption key management through our portal. This is just one example of how Level 3 continues to deliver a truly customer-defined adaptive networking experience," stated Paul Savill, SVP of Core Products for Level 3.

Oclaro show coherent transceiver for 400G and 600G wavelengths

Oclaro is getting ready to sample its first photonic integrated coherent transmitters (ICTs) and intradyne coherent receiver (ICRs) for 400G and 600G wavelengths. The devices, which could be configured for multiple data rates, are designed for high-performance coherent optical systems for applications ranging from data center interconnects (DCIs) to ultra-long haul transmission.

Oclaro 64Gbaud ICT combines an ultra narrow line width laser with a high-bandwidth dual QPSK Mach Zehnder Modulator to support flexible baud rates up to 64Gbaud and 64-QAM modulation. The device has an integrated semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs), a tunable filter and a variable optical attenuator (VOA). It also includes a local oscillator (LO) feed with +12dBm output power for optimal receiver performance.

The photonic intregration uses indium phosphide technology.

Oclaro is showcasing these two new products at this week's ECOC Exhibition in Sweden. Sampling is expected in Q4 2017.

"With our ICR and ICT product offerings, customers will be able to design high-performance coherent systems that are both flexible in the bandwidth offered per port and cost competitive by maximizing the data that can be carried on a single wavelength," said Beck Mason, President, Integrated Photonics Business Unit at Oclaro.

Oclaro's 400G/Lambda Lithium Niobate Modulator enters volume production

Oclaro has now achieved volume production of its lithium niobate (LiNbO3) Polarization Multiplexed Quad Mach-Zehnder (PM-QMZ) modulators, which enable data rates up to 400G on a single wavelength.

The Oclaro single carrier PM-QMZ lithium niobate external modulator is a high electro-optic bandwidth PM-QMZ device that integrates into a hermetic package an input beam splitter, four parallel Mach-Zehnder modulators configured for I-Q modulation, a polarization combiner, and monitor photodiodes for power and bias control. Key features:

  • 3dB electro-optic bandwidth exceeding 30GHz.
  • Extinction ratio above 25dB to enable complex modulation formats.
  • Insertion loss below 12dB for high efficiency.
  • Supports L-Band operation similar to all other Oclaro LiNbO3 modulators

Finisar shows 100G QSFP28 eSWDM at 300m

Finisar has demonstrated the first 100G QSFP28 eSWDM4 transceiver with extended reach for multimode fiber (MMF), which could enable data centre operators to upgrade from 10G to 100G without installing additional fiber.

The new device, which is a new member of Finisar's suite of extended reach QSFP28 form factor modules, leverages Finisar's SWDM4 technology and enables 200, 300 and 400 meter links at 100G data rates over OM3, OM4, and OM5 duplex MMF, respectively. Finisar now claims the longest fiber reach among duplex MMF solutions in the industry for 100G QSFP28 Ethernet applications.

In a demo at this week's ECOC 2017 in Sweden, Finisar is showing the new QSFP28 eSWDM4 module transmitting live data over 300 meters of OM4 multimode fiber connected to a receiving QSFP28 eSWDM4 module.

At ECOC, Finisar is also showing  a 10G Tunable BiDi Transceiver for Wireless, CATV and Enterprise networks. The demo features multiple tunable Bidi SFP+ modules supporting 40 bidirectional point-to-point links on a
single fiber.

A third ECOC demonstration features a 100G QSFP28 ER4f transceiver supporting 40km 4WDM applications. This transceiver is the newest member of the Finisar suite of extended reach QSFP28 modules. The ER4f module enables 40 km links at 100G data rates over duplex single mode fiber (SMF) with FEC on the host, or 30 km links with duplex SMF without FEC.

CenturyLink packages cloud-managed Business Wi-Fi from Cisco Meraki

CenturyLink is leveraging the Cisco Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution to offer a bundled service with businesses with up to 250 employees.

CenturyLink Business Wi-Fi provides a secure Wi-Fi with real-time monitoring and analytics for companies that would prefer not to manage their wireless network on their own.

CenturyLink said its Business Wi-Fi provides an enterprise-grade solution with fast deployment, simple administration and increased visibility into network users, all from a single provider. In addition to network transport, CenturyLink provides Cisco Meraki access points and software licenses (eight access points per location for up to five locations), access to Meraki's cloud-based dashboard and 24/7 operational support.

Minio raises $20m for Multi-Cloud Object Storage

Minio, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, raised $20 million in Series A funding for open source object storage for cloud-native and containerized applications.

Minio has developed an object storage server that enables developers to store unstructured data on any public or private cloud infrastructure, including multi-cloud deployments. The solution lets users build their own Amazon S3-compatible object storage on bare metal, public cloud or existing SAN/NAS storage infrastructure.

Minio reports  over 10M downloads since its general availability in January 2017.

The Series A funding round was jointly led by Dell Technologies Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Nexus Venture Partners, with participation by Intel Capital, AME Cloud and Steve Singh.

WIVE project looks for 5G vertical applications

A new WIVE (WIreless for VErticals) Project has been established by Nokia Bell Labs and leading academic institutions in Finland to identify vertical applications for 5G.

Besides Nokia, participating groups include Teleste, Telia, ABB, Cargotec Kalmar, Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), Digita, regulator FICORA, key Finnish universities as well as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The two-year project is especially focused on opportunities in the following vertical sectors: Media and entertainment (M&E); Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), serving sectors like smart grids and remotely controlled machines; and Massive Machine Type Connectivity (mMTC), allowing a high number of devices to be connected with limited cost and energy consumption


IEEE 802.3 looks to extend Optical PHYs beyond 10km

A new IEEE 802.3 Beyond 10km Optical PHYs Study Group has been formed under the auspices of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group.

The new study group aims to develop a Project Authorization Request (PAR) and Criteria for Standards Development (CSD) responses for optical solutions targeting physical distances beyond 10km for 50 Gb/s, 200 Gb/s, and 400 Gb/s Ethernet.

"The launch of the IEEE 802.3 Beyond 10km Optical PHYs Study Group represents a first step towards standardization that will meet the needs of network providers, such as wireless operators across the globe where bandwidth demands are projected to vary significantly from region to region,” said John D’Ambrosia, chair, IEEE 802.3 Beyond 10km Optical PHYs Study Group, and senior principal engineer, Huawei. “The Ethernet application space being addressed by this new working group will help ensure that a fully comprehensive networked Ethernet ecosystem can meet tomorrow’s demands for the speed and reach needed to support industry growth worldwide."

Monday, September 18, 2017

New double density SFP pluggable spec nears completion

The Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (SFP-DD) Multi Source Agreement (MSA) Group, which is backed by leading vendors, has released an initial hardware specification for an SFP-DD pluggable interface.

Founding members of the group include Alibaba, Broadcom, Brocade, Cisco, Dell EMC, Finisar, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lumentum, Mellanox Technologies, Molex, and TE Connectivity.

The SFP-DD goal is to standardize a high-density, pluggable form factor interface that builds on the existing SFP pluggable form factor by leveraging an additional 2 rows of electrical contacts for double the lane density and data speed in next-generation networking equipment. The new spec will support up to 3.5 W optical modules in an enterprise environment.

SFP-DD key features include

  • A single port SMT connector and cage
  • Heat sink options for thermal management flexibility
  • Module mechanical definition
  • Support for optical and copper interfaces, with physical layer specifications to be determined outside the scope of the SFP-DD MSA
SFP-DD key benefits include

  • Support for up to 3.5 W for optical modules
  • Enables two channels of high-speed electrical interfaces connecting to host
  • Backward compatibility to all current SFP style interfaces
  • Developed by industry consortium to enable multi-vendor interoperability


Kaiam reaches volume production of 100G CWDM4 transceivers

Kaiam, a manufacturer of optical transceivers for hyperscale data centers based in Newark, California, has begun shipping its XQX5000-series of QSFP28 100G-CWDM4 transceivers in commercial volume.

The new transceivers are based on the company's LightScale2 architecture, which eliminates hermetic “gold boxes” and flex circuits. Kaiam maintains large-scale manufacturing in Livingston, Scotland.

The company reports that the LightScale2 production ramp has gone very smoothly.

“Our UK factory has manufactured traditional hermetic TOSAs and ROSAs in high volumes for years. The LightScale2 platform is far simpler to manufacture in terms of assembly steps, capital equipment, and labor. This has allowed us to ramp to high volumes with high yields much more quickly than was possible with more complex legacy products,” stated Russell Childs, GM of Kaiam Europe Ltd.

Kaiam CEO Bardia Pezeshki added, “Our micromechanical alignment technology allows multimode packaging techniques to be used in a single mode application. The Lightscale2 platform is optimized to deliver maximum value and performance in the data center environment at dramatically lower costs than traditionally aligned hybrid approaches.”

VPIphotonics and Fraunhofer HHI showcase DSP algorithms for coherent optical

Berlin-based VPIphotonics, which is a provider of photonic design automation solutions for components, systems and networks, has collaborated with the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute (HHI) to develop Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms for coherent optical transmission systems.

The new version 3.0 of the VPItoolkit DSP Library is now available as a pluggable toolkit for the company's VPItransmissionMaker Optical Systems, which is a simulation platform for optical transmission systems addressing applications from short-reach to ultra-long-haul. This can be used by developers to simulate arbitrary 2D, 4D and even N dimensional modulation formats, and bit stream en-/decoding using soft and hard decision FEC codes.

The new release of the VPItoolkit DSP Library is also available as pluggable toolkit to the company's VPIlabExpert product, which delivers a set of interface modules for automatic signal conversion and transfer between simulation software and lab equipment.

VPIphotonics said the new version of its VPItoolkit DSP Library, along with its simulation and analysis tools, can significantly accelerate and improve the R&D process as it enables a diversity of important transmitter and receiver-side DSP functions for coherent optical systems. Key functionality includes, but is not limited to, non-linear pre-distortion, I/Q imbalance correction, blind CD estimation and compensation, data-aided channel equalization, clock recovery and deskew, carrier frequency and phase recovery, polarization demultiplexing and PMD compensation.

The new version also introduces a 4x4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) adaptive equalizer that can perform additional compensation of I/Q imbalance and skew in received signals.

VPIphotonics is demonstrating its VPItoolkit DSP Library Version 3.0 at this week's ECOC 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden (booth 334).

John Chambers to step down as chairman of Cisco

John Chambers will step down as Executive Chairman of the Cisco Board of Directors in December and he will not stand for re-election to the board of directors.

Cisco's Board plans appoint Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins to serve as its next chairman. Chambers will be given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.

Chambers served as CEO of Cisco from January 1995 to July 26, 2015, and as Executive Chairman since then.  Chuck Robbins has served as CEO since July 26, 2015.

Equinix opens another Silicon Valley data center - its 13th

Equinix inaugurated its thirteenth International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Silicon Valley.

The new $122M facility, named SV10, is located at Equinix's Great Oaks campus in San Jose, which also hosts its SV1 and SV5 data centers. The initial phase of SV10 will add 37,000+ square feet (3,400+ square meters) of colocation space, enough for 930 cabinets. Two additional expansion phases are planned, which will bring the SV10 facility to a total capacity of 2,820 cabinets.

Equinix noted that its Silicon Valley sites now host more than 125 service providers, along with cloud services such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud and others through the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

Versa Networks lands a key SD-WAN contract with China Telecom Global

China Telecom Global Limited (CTG) has selected Versa Networks as its primary vendor for software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and security (SD-Security). Financial terms were not disclosed.

CTG delivers worldwide networking services to the growing base of Chinese companies with overseas branches. Its managed SD-WAN service is built on Versa’s suite of virtualized network and security functions (VNFs).

Versa confirmed that CTG is deploying its multi-tenant SD-WAN and SD-Security solution in 15 cloud hubs globally for distributed reach and centralized control. CTG is deploying Versa’s SD-WAN software on low-cost x86 appliances at its customer's branch offices.

Intel Capital's AI Investments top $1 billion

Intel Capital has now invested over $1 billion in companies devoted to the advancement of artificial intelligence.

In a blog post, Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich said the company is fully committed to making its silicon the "platform of choice" for AI developers. Key areas of AI development inside Intel include:

  • Intel Xeon Scalable family of processors for evolving AI workloads. Intel also offers purpose-built silicon for deep learning training, code-named “Lake Crest”
  • Intel Mobileye vision technologies for specialized use cases such as active safety and autonomous driving
  • Intel FPGAs, which can serve as programmable accelerators for deep learning inference
  • Intel Movidius low-power vision technology, which provides machine learning at the edge.

Intel Nervana Aims for AI

Intel introduced its "Nervana" platform and outlined its broad for artificial intelligence (AI), encompassing a range of new products, technologies and investments from the edge to the data center.

Intel currently powers 97 percent of data center servers running AI workloads on its existing Intel Xeon processors and Intel Xeon Phi processors, along with more workload-optimized accelerators, including FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays).

Intel said the breakthrough technology acquired from Nervana earlier this summer will be integrated into its product roadmap. Intel will test first silicon (code-named “Lake Crest”) in the first half of 2017 and will make it available to key customers later in the year. In addition, Intel announced a new product (code-named “Knights Crest”) on the roadmap that tightly integrates best-in-class Intel Xeon processors with the technology from Nervana. Lake Crest is optimized specifically for neural networks to deliver the highest performance for deep learning and offers unp

Telefónica Business to offer Clean Pipes security with Palo Alto Networks

Telefónica Business Solutions is introducing "Clean Pipes 2.0", a software-based security service that was developed in conjunction with ElevenPaths, Telefónica's cyber security unit, and Palo Alto Networks.

The service is delivered as a service via Telefónica Business Solutions' virtual network infrastructure. It provides features such as an application-layer firewall, advanced protection against known and unknown threats, web filtering, and intrusion prevention, amongst others.

The companies claim the cloud-based Network Function Virtualization (NFV) architecture brings reduced operational costs to organizations in terms of purchasing, deployment and maintenance, without sacrificing effectiveness or performance.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

CWDM8 MSA targets 400G data centre links at 2 km and 10 km

Leading vendors, including Accton, Barefoot Networks, Credo Semiconductor, Hisense, Innovium, Intel, MACOM, Mellanox, Neophotonics, and Rockley Photonics, have formed a new CWDM8 MSA (8-wavelength Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing Multi-Source Agreement) Group dedicated to defining optical specifications and promoting adoption of interoperable 2 km and 10 km 400 Gb/s interfaces over duplex single-mode fiber.

The goal is to develop optical link specifications that will enable cost-effective, low power consumption 400G duplex single-mode optics using 50G per wavelength optical NRZ modulation, all while maintaining full compatibility with standard 50G PAM4 electrical interfaces.

The group is targetting next-generation module form factors such as QSFP-DD, OSFP, and COBO, to handle the 400 Gb/s interface at distances of 2 km and 10km for intra data centre of campus data centre connectivity.

"There is currently no adequate solution in the market to meet our needs for cost effective and uncooled 400G optical interfaces for 2km and 10km reaches. We welcome the formation of the CWDM8 MSA, which offers proven 50G NRZ technology to enable compact and low power dissipation form factors for 400G," stated Yu Li, VP of Data Center Switching, Huawei.

NeoPhotonics shows 64 Gbaud Coherent, enabling systems at 600 Gbps +

At this week's European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Gothenburg, Sweden, NeoPhotonics is showcasing a suite of 64 Gbaud optical components for coherent systems operating at 600G and above, effectively doubling the symbol rate over standard 100G (32 Gbaud) coherent systems

NeoPhotonics has just announced sampling of a 64 Gbaud Micro Modulator (Micro-MOD) with integrated drivers.  The company has also begun shipping its 64 Gbaud Micro Coherent Receiver (Micro-ICR) and it low-profile ultra-narrow line width tunable laser for 400G and 600G applications.

“Our 64 Gbaud symbol rate optical components for coherent transport provide system designers with the optical tools that match increases in DSP capability to enable higher spectral densities and longer reaches,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “Each of these products is based on our hybrid photonic integration technology and leverages our existing proven design platforms, which allows us to ramp production rapidly to match customer demands while maintaining high quality and reliability.”

Some highlights of the suite.

  • 64 Gbaud Micro-MOD (CDM): NeoPhotonics 64 GBaud, polarization multiplexed, quadrature micro-modulator is currently being sampled to major customers and features a co-packaged InP modulator with linear, high bandwidth, differential drivers in a compact package to operate in 400G and beyond pluggable modules that demand reduced size and power consumption.
  • 64 Gbaud Micro-ICR: NeoPhotonics Class 40 High Bandwidth Micro-Intradyne Coherent Receiver is in volume production and is designed for 64 Gbaud symbol rates, doubling the RF bandwidth of standard 100G ICRs. The 64 Gbaud Micro-ICR supports higher order modulation such as 64 QAM.
  • Low Profile Micro-TL: NeoPhotonics ultra-narrow linewidth external cavity tunable laser has been proven in volume production and is now configured in a smaller, lower profile package, which is designed to meet the stringent requirements for packaging density in pluggable modules, including at 400G and 600G data rates. The external cavity laser has a significantly narrower linewidth, which is advantageous for higher order modulation formats.

Source Photonics and Credo demo Single Lambda 100G at 20km

A new generation of single wavelength 100G trancseivers is a step closer.

Whereas currently deployed 100G optical transceivers rely on 4x25G WDM technology, the next generation of transceivers will use higher order modulation techniques, such as PAM4, and higher data rate operation at 53Gbaud. This means that that one laser and one receiver could do the job that currently requires four lasers and four receivers. In addition to 100G-DR/FR/LR, Source Photonics plans to leverage this technology for 400G-DR4/FR4.

At this week's ECOC 2017 in Sweden, Source Photonics will be hosting a private demonstration of its internally packaged TOSA and ROSA sub-assemblies in an optical loopback configuration through 20km of single-mode fiber using a single 100G channel of Credo’s low power PAM4 IC technology.

Source Photonics said its testing revealed that the bit-error-rate (BER) after 20km of fiber remains better than the KP4 FEC requirement and was around 5x10-5. The TOSA is based on Source Photonics’ EML laser technology which provides the necessary bandwidth to achieve a TDECQ value below 2.5dB. The room temperature link budget of 10dB provides considerable margin for the most significant link specifications under development in the industry, allowing production margin for performance variations.

“We are continuing to invest in next generation technology, such as Single Lambda 100G, as part of our commitment to providing leading edge solutions for data centers,” said Manish Mehta, EVP, PLM Source Photonics

Source Photonics ramps up 100G QSFP28 transceiver line

Source Photonics, which began sampling its first generation of 100GBASE-LR4 in QSFP28 form factor in 2014, and which began full-scale QSFP28 production in 2015, is now ramping up for increased production volumes. The company reports that continuous investment into its InP fab as well as in transceiver production infrastructure will enable it to produce greater than half a million modules annually by early 2018.

The ramp up in 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 modules comes in response to the rapid adoption of 100G in data centers.

Source Photonics reports an expansion of its product portfolio to include modules with an OTU4 data rate. extended temperature operation of up to 85°C for 100GBASE-LR4 and 100G CWDM4 (2 km), as well as 4WDM-10 (10 km) modules. In addition, longer reach

Source Photonics is also planning a 100G 4WDM-40 MSA compliant module for 100G applications with up to a 40km reach. The companay anticipates sampling in Q4 2017 and full production in Q1 2018.