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Ciena's Tom Mock reflects on a career in telecom

It has been a strange week for Tom Mock. Not only is it his last at Ciena, after working for the company for 18 years, it has also been abnormally quiet since many of his colleagues are away at the OFC show in Los Angeles. 

Working for one technology company for so long may be uncommon, says Mock, but not at Ciena: the CTO has clocked 20 years while the CEO boasts 15 years. 


Tom Mock: “I’m about ready to go do something else.”

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OIF shows 56G electrical interfaces & CFP2-ACO 

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) is using the OFC exhibition taking place in Los Angeles this week to showcase the first electrical interfaces running at 56 Gigabit. Coherent optics in a CFP2 pluggable module is also being demonstrated.


“The most important thing for everyone is power consumption on the line card”

The OIF - an industry organisation comprising communications service providers, internet content providers, system vendors and component companies - is developing the next common electrical interface (CEI) specifications, as well as continuing to advance fixed and pluggable optical module specifications for coherent transmission including the pluggable CFP2.

“These are major milestones that the [demonstration] efforts are even taking place,” says Nathan Tracy, technologist at TE Connectivity and the OIF technical committee chair.

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MultiPhy readies 100 Gigabit serial direct-detection chip

MultiPhy is developing a chip that will support serial 100 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) transmission using 25 Gig optical components. The device will enable short reach links within the data centre and up to 80km point-to-point links for data centre interconnect.

Figure 1: A block diagram of the 100 Gig serial FlexPhy. The transmitter output is an electrical signal that is fed to the optics. Equally, the input to the receive path is an electrical signal generated by the receiver optics. Source: Gazettabyte

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Cyan's stackable optical rack for data centre interconnent 

Demand for high-capacity links between data centres is creating a new class of stackable optical platform from equipment makers. Cyan has unveiled the N-Series, what it calls an open hyperscale transport platform. "It is a hardware and software system specifically for data centre interconnect," says Joe Cumello, Cyan's chief marketing officer. Cyan's announcement follows on from Infinera, which detailed its Cloud Xpress platform last year.


"The drivers for these [data centre] guys every day of the week is lowest cost-per-gigabit"

Joe Cumello





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60-second interview with Infonetics' Andrew Schmitt

Market research firm Infonetics Research, now part of IHS Inc., has issued its 2014 summary of the global wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) equipment market. Andrew Schmitt, research director for carrier transport networking, in a Q&A with Gazettabyte.


Andrew Schmitt

Q: Infonetics claims the global WDM market grew 6% in 2014, to total US $10 billion. What accounted for such impressive growth in 2014?

AS: Primarily North American strength from data centre-related spending and growth in China.

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Business services and mobile revive WDM-PON interest

"WDM-PON is many things to many people" - Jon Baldry

It was in 2005 that Novera Optics, a pioneer of WDM-PON (wavelength-division multiplexing, passive optical networking), was working with Korea Telecom in a trial involving 50,000 residential lines. Yet, one decade later, WDM-PON remains an emerging technology. And when a WDM-PON deployment does occur, it is for business services and mobile backhaul rather than residential broadband.  

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EZchip packs 100 ARM cores into one networking chip  


The Tile-Mx100. Source: EZchip

  • The industry's first detailed chip featuring 100, 64-bit ARM cores
  • The Tile-Mx devices will perform control plane processing and data plane processing
  • The 100-core chip will have 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports and support 200 Gigabit duplex traffic 

EZchip has detailed the industry's first 100-core processor. Dubbed the Tile-Mx100, the processor will be the most powerful of a family of devices aimed at such applications as software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualisation (NFV), load-balancing and security. Other uses include video processing and application recognition, to identify applications riding over a carrier's network.

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