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Tuesday
Apr032018

Ciena picks ONAP’s policy code to enhance Blue Planet  

Ciena is adding policy software from the Linux Foundation’s open-source Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) to its Blue Planet network management platform.

Operators want to use automation to help tackle the growing complexity and cost of operating their networks.

Kevin Wade“Policy plays a key role in this goal by enabling the creation and administration of rules that automatically modify the network’s behaviour,” says Kevin Wade, senior director of solutions, Ciena’s Blue Planet. 

Incorporating ONAP code to enhance Blue Planet’s policy engine also advances Ciena’s own vision of the adaptive network.    

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Wednesday
Mar282018

Will white boxes predominate in telecom networks? 

Will future operator networks be built using software, servers and white boxes or will traditional systems vendors with years of network integration and differentiation expertise continue to be needed? 

 

AT&T’s announcement that it will deploy 60,000 white boxes as part of its rollout of 5G in the U.S. is a clear move to break away from the operator pack.

The service provider has long championed network transformation, moving from proprietary hardware and software to a software-controlled network based on virtual network functions running on servers and software-defined networking (SDN) for the control switches and routers.

Glenn WellbrockNow, AT&T is going a stage further by embracing open hardware platforms - white boxes - to replace traditional telecom hardware used for data-path tasks that are beyond the capabilities of software on servers.       

For the 5G deployment, AT&T will, over several years, replace traditional routers at cell and tower sites with white boxes, built using open standards and merchant silicon.

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Wednesday
Mar212018

Xilinx unveils a new class of compute IC 

Programmable device company Xilinx has outlined an architecture that it claims represents a new class of computing chip.

The silicon architecture has been four years in the making, involved 1,500 engineers and cost over $1 billion in R&D investment.

ACAP's functional blocks. Source: Xilinx

Dubbed the adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP), the first device will be fabricated using TSMC’s state-of-the-art 7nm CMOS process and will tape out later this year. The largest ACAP devices will use as many as 50 billion transistors.

“Based on the limited information from Xilinx, it is difficult to say what ACAP is, much less whether it creates a new product category,” says Linley Gwennap, principal analyst at The Linley Group.

That said, Gwennap believes the next-generation Xilinx products are far more than simply moving its FPGA technology to a 7nm CMOS. “The company has clearly put significant effort into improving the capabilities of these products to address 5G wireless, machine learning (AI), and other advanced applications,” says Gwennap.

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Thursday
Mar152018

Infinera’s ICE flow

Infinera’s newest Infinite Capacity Engine 5 (ICE5) doubles capacity to 2.4 terabits. The ICE, which comprises a coherent DSP and a photonic integrated circuit (PIC), is being demonstrated this week at the OFC show being held in San Diego. 

Infinera has also detailed its ICE6, being developed in tandem with the ICE5. The two designs represent a fork in Infinera’s coherent engine roadmap in terms of the end markets they will address.

Geoff BennettThe ICE5 is targeted at data centre interconnect and applications where fibre in being added towards the network edge. The next-generation access network of cable operators is one such example. Another is mobile operators deploying fibre in preparation for 5G.

First platforms using the ICE5 will be unveiled later this year and will ship early next year.

Infinera’s ICE6 is set to appear two years after the ICE5. Like the ICE4, Infinera’s current Infinite Capacity Engine, the ICE6 will be used across all of Infinera’s product portfolio.

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Thursday
Mar152018

Rockley Photonics showcases its in-packaged design at OFC  

Rockley Photonics has showcased its in-packaged optics design to select customers and development partners at the OFC show being held in San Diego this week.

The packaged design includes Rockley's own 2 billion transistor layer 3 router chip, and its silicon photonics-based optical transceivers. The layer 3 router chip, described as a terabit device, also includes mixed-signal circuits needed for the optical transceevers' transmit and receive paths.

 Source: Rockley Photonics (annotated by Gazettabyte).Rockley says it is using 500m-reach PSM4 transceivers for the design and that while a dozen ribbon cables are shown, this does not mean there are 12 100-gigabit PSM4 transceivers. The company is not saying what the total optical input-output is. 

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Wednesday
Mar142018

DustPhotonics reveals its optical transceiver play

A start-up that has been active for a year has dropped its state of secrecy to reveal it is already shipping its first optical transceiver product.

The company, DustPhotonics, is backed by private investors and recently received an undisclosed round of funding that will secure the company’s future for the next two years.  

 

Product plans

DustPhotonics' first product is the multi-mode 100m-reach 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28. The company will launch its first 400-gigabit optical modules later this year. 

Ben Rubovitch

“We probably are going to be one of the first to market with [400-gigabit] QSFP-DD and OSFP multi-mode solutions,” says Ben Rubovitch, CEO of DustPhotonics.

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Tuesday
Mar132018

Lumentum jolts the industry with Oclaro acquisition 

Lumentum announced on Monday its plan to acquire Oclaro in a deal worth $1.8 billion.

The prospect of consolidation among optical component players has long been mooted yet the announcement provided the first big news jolt at the OFC show, being held in San Diego this week. 

Alan Lowe“Combined, we will be an industry leader in telecom transmission and transport as well as 3D sensing,” said Alan Lowe, president and CEO of Lumentum, on an analyst call discussing the deal.

Lumentum says their joint revenues totalled $1.7 billion with a 39% gross margin over the last year. And $60 million in synergies are forecast in the second year after the deal closes, which is expected to happen later this year. 

The $1.8 billion acquisition will comprise 56 percent cash and 44 percent Lumentum stock. Lumentum will also raise $550 million to help finance the deal.

“This is a big deal as it consolidates the telecom part of the component market,” says Daryl Inniss, business development manager at OFS Fitel and former market research analyst.

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