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Silicon Photonics

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Why optical transceiver vendors are like discus-throwers


Guest blog on Lightwave magazine, click here.


Optical core switching tops 4 Terabit-per-second.

After the launch of Alcatel-Lucent's 1870 TTS optical core switch, three experts comment.


Alcatel-Lucent has launched its 1870 Transport Tera Switch (TTS) that has a switch capacity of 4 Terabits-per-second (Tbps). The platform switches and grooms traffic at 1Gbps granularity while supporting lightpaths up to 100Gbps.

“It is designed to address the explosion of traffic in core networks, driven by video and the move to cloud computing among others,” says Alberto Valsecchi, vice president of marketing, optics activities at Alcatel-Lucent.

The 1870 TTS supports next-generation Optical Transport Network (OTN), carrier Ethernet and SONET/SDH protocols, as well as generalized multiprotocol label switching/ automatically switched optical network(GMPLS/ ASON) control plane technology to enable network management and traffic off-load between the IP core and optical layers.


It [the 1870 TTS]  is designed to address the explosion of traffic in core networks"

Alberto Valsecchi, Alcatel-Lucent



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Optical transceivers: Pouring a quart into a pint pot 

Transceiver feature - 3rd and final part

Optical equipment and transceiver makers have much in common.  Both must contend with the challenge of yearly network traffic growth and both are addressing the issue similarly: using faster interfaces, reducing power consumption and making designs more compact and flexible.  

Yet if equipment makers and transceiver vendors share common technical goals, the market challenges they face differ. For optical transceiver vendors, the challenges are particularly complex.

LightCounting's global optical transceiver sales forecast. In 2009 the market was $2.10bn and will rise to $3.42bn in 2013

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Differentiation in a market that demands sameness

Transceiver feature: Part 2

At first sight, optical transceiver vendors have little scope for product differentiation. Modules are defined through a multi-source agreement (MSA) and used to transport specified protocols over predefined distances.


“Their attitude is let the big guys kill themselves at 40 and 100 Gig while they beat down costs"


Vladimir Kozlov, LightCounting



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Do multi-source agreements benefit the optical industry?

Transceiver feature: Part 1

System vendors may adore optical transceivers but there is a concern about how multi-source agreements originate. 

Optical transceiver form factors, defined through multi-source agreements (MSAs), benefit equipment vendors by ensuring there are several suppliers to choose from.  No longer must a system vendor develop its own or be locked in with a supplier.


“Personally, the MSA is the worst thing that has happened to the optical industry


Marek Tlaka, Luxtera




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Jagdeep Singh's Infinera effect 

Jagdeep Singh, who has led Infinera from a start-up of three to a 1000-staff public company, is stepping down in January.

Talking to gazettabyte, he reflects on the ups and downs of being a CEO, his love of running, 40 Gigabit transmission and why he is looking forward to his next role at Infinera.


"We are looking to lead the 40 Gig market, not be first to market.”

Jagdeep Singh, Infinera CEO

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Best books of 2009?

What are the best telecom, datacom and business practice books you have read this year and why? Please send a comment.

Books I'd highlight this year are:

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