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Infinera prepares for first ICE6 coherent DSP samples

Infinera has taped out its 7nm CMOS FlexCoherent 6 digital signal processor (DSP) and expects samples of the coherent chip in the next fortnight.

“We are ready to start fabricating prototype modules,” says Robert Shore, senior vice president of marketing at Infinera (pictured).

The DSP, along with Infinera’s photonic integrated circuit (PIC) that was demonstrated at the OFC show held in March, will be integrated into a module that supports two wavelengths, each capable of supporting up to 800 gigabits of data. 

The company expects to have a prototype of the 1.6-terabit Infinite Coherent Engine 6 (ICE6) module by year-end, while the first ICE6-based products are scheduled for the second half of 2020.

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ADVA runs the rule over its TeraFlex platform

Gazettabyte talks to Jörg-Peter Elbers about the recent trial of ADVA’s FSP 3000 TeraFlex platform in Tele2’s network and gets his views on industry trends.

Herzliya marina. Source: Gazettabyte

It is early morning and the air is cool. I'm seated outside at a coffee bar in Herzliya’s marina awaiting Jörg-Peter Elbers, senior vice president, advanced technology, who is in Israel visiting local ADVA staff.   

He arrives as the bar opens and we are the only customers.

Just as we are about to start, the waitress informs us that the barista has yet to arrive. Breakfast can be ordered but we must wait for coffee. 

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Cisco-Acacia blurs the optical ecosystem vendor divide  

Cisco Systems’ acquisition of Acacia Communications would make it first to market with a 400ZR pluggable coherent interface. So claims Vladimir Kozlov, CEO of LightCounting Market Research. 

“This is the main reason Cisco is doing the deal,” says Kozlov. “It is very important for Cisco to get its core routers with DWDM optics and push network evolution in this direction.” 

Cisco is keen to grow its market share among service providers and lead in the development of software for automating telecom networks centred around routers, he says: “This will be the best way for Cisco to re-energise its optical transport business.”

Tom Williams, Acacia“We are planning to sample [the 400ZR] before the deal closes,” says Tom Williams, vice president for marketing at Acacia. “Our plan is to be first to volume, that is the most important thing.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second half of Cisco’s fiscal year, 2020 (February-July 2020).

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WaveLogic 5: Packing a suitcase of ideas into 7nm CMOS  

  • Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 coherent digital signal processor family comprises the Extreme and Nano chips
  • The WaveLogic 5 Extreme maximises optical capacity and transmission reach while the Nano is targeted at compact, power-conservative applications

Advancing coherent optical transmission performance to benefit its platforms; targeting the emerging coherent pluggable market opportunity; selling modules directly, and being more vertically integrated. All these aspects were outlined by Cisco to explain its intention to buy the coherent optical transmission specialist, Acacia Communications; a deal set to be completed in the spring of 2020.      

But this also fits the strategy being pursued by Ciena with its next-generation WaveLogic 5 family of coherent DSPs.


Kim Roberts

The WaveLogic 5 continues Ciena’s tradition of issuing a coherent digital signal processor (DSP) family approximately every three years: Ciena announced the WaveLogic 3 in 2012 and the WaveLogic Ai in 2016

Ciena has managed to maintain its three-yearly cadence despite the increasing sophistication of each generation of coherent DSP. For example, the WaveLogic 5 Extreme will support 800 gigabits-per-wavelength, double Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai that has been shipping for nearly two years. 

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Trident 4 boosts enterprise switch capacity to 12.8 terabit

  • Broadcom’s Trident 4 switch chip has a capacity of 12.8 terabits, 4x the capacity of its Trident 3.
  • The chip reduces fourfold the cost of a 128x100-gigabit switch.  
  • The Trident 4 adds compiler programmability  
  • This is the company’s first switch chip in 7nm CMOS. 

Broadcom has unveiled the Trident 4, its latest family of switch chips for the enterprise. 

The largest-capacity Trident 4 family member, the X11 chip, has a switching capacity of 12.8 terabits. This is a fourfold increase in capacity compared to Broadcom’s current high-end enterprise chip, the Trident 3, announced in June 2017.  

The Trident 4 will also reduce the cost of a 128x100-gigabit switch by a factor of four. The current cost of a 12.8-terabit switch, a multi-chassis solution, is $245,000 not including the pluggable optics, says Broadcom, citing market research firm, The Dell’Oro Group.

“The announcement is significant both in updating the Trident line for enterprise and in adding compiler programmability thereby limiting the openings for competitors such as Barefoot - soon Intel - Innovium, and Marvell,” says Bob Wheeler, vice president of The Linley Group and principal analyst for networking.

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UK quantum algorithm start-up targets first opportunity 

A UK start-up developing software for quantum computers has received £3.25 million ($4.1 million) in funding. 

Riverlane, based in Cambridge, is working with leading quantum computing hardware companies as well as large corporates interested in benefiting from the technology.

The start-up will use the funding to grow the company and has already identified the most promising applications for the technology.



“A lot of people are building hardware using various technologies such as iron trap or supercomputing qubits,” says Steve Brierley, CEO of Riverlane. “What we are trying to do is make that [hardware] useful as soon as possible.” A qubit is the shorthand term for a quantum bit.

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Sense and sustainability 

What causes someone to change roles, to turn to sustainability after years as a distinguished engineer? An interview with Klaus Grobe of ADVA; the second in a series of articles about work.

Klaus Grobe spent nine productive years as part of the Advanced Technology team at ADVA. 

Grobe had authored 150 academic papers, issued 25 patents, and had published, along with co-author Michael Eiselt, a textbook on wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) when, in 2015, he decided to switch roles and become ADVA’s director of sustainability. 

Two factors influenced his decision: one was the importance he attached to the topic of carbon emissions and global warming, the second was a sense that it was time for a change. 

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that being a technologist had become boring but it wasn’t that exciting anymore,” says Grobe. “I was looking for something new and perhaps more relevant.” 

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