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Wednesday
Dec272017

Books in 2017

Gazettabyte has asked various industry executives to discuss the books they have read in 2017. Here two market researchers give their recommendations.

 

Andrew Schmitt, founder and lead analyst of Cignal AI

I didn’t have a good year with books. I bought more than these and either didn’t read them or I lost interest. Hopefully, 2018 will be better.

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman was a big disappointment. It is a well-researched book and has tons of great history on Claude Shannon but there was something about the writing style that made it turgid. I struggled to finish it but learned a lot about Claude Shannon, including that his home in Boston wasn’t far from mine.

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Monday
Dec182017

TIP tackles the growing complexity of open design

Axel Clauberg outlined the challenges facing the telecom industry in his opening address at the recent Telecom Infra Project (TIP) summit.

The TIP chairman and vice president, technology innovation at Deutsche Telekom, described how the relentless growth of IP traffic is causing production costs to rise yet the average revenues per subscriber for bundled communication services is flat or dipping. “Not a good situation to be in,” he said. The industry is also investing in new technologies including the rollout of 5G.

Niall Robinson

The industry needs a radically different approach if it is to achieve capital efficiency, says Clauberg, and that requires talent to drive innovation. Garnering such talent requires an industry-wide effort and this is the motivation for TIP.

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Thursday
Nov232017

ON2020 rallies industry to address networking concerns 

Peter Winzer highlights one particular slide, part of the operator-findings presentation, to explain the purpose of the Optical Networks 2020 (ON2020) group.

Source: ON2020

The slide shows how router-blade client interfaces are scaling at 40% annually compared to the 20% growth rate of general single-wavelength interfaces (see chart).

Extrapolating the trend to 2024, router blades will support 20 terabits while client interfaces will only be at one terabit. Each blade will thus require 20 one-terabit Ethernet interfaces. “That is science fiction if you go off today’s technology,” says Winzer, director of optical transmission subsystems research at Nokia Bell Labs and a member of the ON2020 steering committee.

This is where ON2020 comes in, he says, to flag up such disparities and focus industry efforts so they are addressed.

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Thursday
Nov092017

Juniper Networks opens up the optical line system 

Juniper Networks has responded to the demands of the large-scale data centre players with an open optical line system architecture.

Donyel Jones-WilliamsThe system vendor has created software external to its switch, IP router and optical transport platforms that centrally controls the optical layer.

Juniper has also announced a reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) - the TCX1000 - that is Lumentum’s own white box ROADM design. Juniper will offer the Lumentum white box as its own, part of its optical product portfolio.

The open line system architecture, including the TCX1000, is also being pitched to communications service providers that want an optical line system and prefer to deal with a single vendor.

“Juniper plans to address the optical layer with a combination of software and open hardware in the common optical layer,” says Andrew Schmitt, founder and lead analyst at Cignal AI. “This is the solution it will bring to customers rather than partnering with an optical vendor, which Juniper has tried several times without great success.”

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Wednesday
Nov012017

Finisar's 10 Gig bi-directional DWDM architecture

Finisar has developed a bi-directional 10-gigabit SFP+ module for the metro-access market. The dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) module is designed to expand capacity at locations where fibre is scarce. And being tunable, the SFP+ also simplifies network planning for the operators.

Finisar demonstrated the module working at the recent ECOC 2017 show held in Gothenburg.

 

Market applications

Interest is growing in using WDM optics for wireless, metro-access and cable networks that are undergoing upgrades. The interest in WDM at the network edge is due to a need to use fibre resources more efficiently. “We are seeing that globally, more and more dark fibre is being used up,” says Leo Lin, director of product line management at Finisar.

Leo LinGiven the cost of leasing and installing fibre, operators are keen to make the best use of their existing fibre and are willing to pay more for WDM optics.

According to Finisar, leasing a fibre can cost $250-$2,000 per fibre annually while the cost of installing fibre can be $500,000 per 10km. “Using WDM optics, you can get payback in less than a year,” says Lin.

LightCounting Market Research's latest forecast estimates that the global wireless transceiver market for 10 gigabit WDM will be approximately $400 million in 2022.

Finisar’s bi-directional 10-gigabit SFP+ product is also being aimed at two emerging ITU Telecom standards: G.metro and NG-PON2. 

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Friday
Oct202017

The many paths to 400 gigabits

The race is on to deliver 400-gigabit optical interfaces in time for the next-generation of data centre switches expected in late 2018.

The industry largely agrees that a four-wavelength 400-gigabit optical interface is most desirable yet alternative designs are also being developed.

Optical module makers must consider such factors as technical risk, time-to-market and cost when choosing which design to back.

Rafik Ward, FinisarUntil now, the industry has sought a consensus on interfaces, making use of such standards bodies as the IEEE to serve the telecom operators.

Now, the volumes of modules used by the internet giants are such that they dictate their own solutions. And the business case for module makers is sufficiently attractive that they are willing to comply.

Another challenge at 400 gigabits is that there is no consensus regarding what pluggable form factor to use. 

“There is probably more technical risk in 400 gigabits than any of the historical data-rate jumps we have seen,” says Rafik Ward, vice president of marketing at Finisar.

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Tuesday
Oct102017

Acacia announces a 1.2 terabit coherent module

Acacia Communications has given first details of its AC1200 coherent optical module, capable of transmitting up to 1.2 terabits of data. The custom coherent transceiver is being aimed at applications ranging from linking data centres to long-haul and even sub-sea transmissions and was announced at the recent ECOC show held in Gothenburg.

Channel capacity and link margin can be maximised by using the fractional QAM scheme. Source: Acacia.

The company is facing increasing market competition. Ciena has teamed up with Lumentum, NeoPhotonics, and Oclaro, sharing its high-end coherent DSP expertise with the three optical module makers. Meanwhile, Inphi has started sampling its 16nm CMOS M200, a 100- and 200-gigabit coherent DSP suitable for CFP2-ACO, CFP-DCO, and CFP2-DCO module designs.

The AC1200 is Acacia’s response, extending its high-end module offering beyond a terabit to compete with the in-house system vendors and preserve its performance lead against the optical module makers.

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