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Silicon Photonics

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Opnext's multiplexer IC plays its part in 100Gbps trial 

AT&T’s 100 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) coherent trial between Louisiana and Florida detailed earlier this week was notable for several reasons. It included a mix of 10, 40 and 100Gbps wavelengths, Cisco Systems' newest IP core router, the CRS-3, and a 100Gbps line-side design from Opnext.


According to Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst of optical at Infonetics Research, what is significant about the 100Gbps AT&T trial is the real-time transmission; unlike previous 100Gbps trials no received data was block-captured and decoded offline.

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Verizon plans coherent-optimised routes

Glenn Wellbrock, director of backbone network design at Verizon Business, was interviewed by gazettabyte as part of an upcoming feature on high-speed optical transmission.  Here are some highlights of what he shared. The topics will be expanded upon in the upcoming feature.


 "Next-gen lines will be coherent only"

 Glenn Wellbrock, Verizon Business

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OFC/NFOEC 2010: Technical paper highlights 

At this year’s OFC/NFOEC, to be held on March 21-25, all the main themes driving optical networking are represented:  40 and 100Gbps transmission, coherent detection, photonic integration, and the latest in optical access such as WDM-PON.

Here is a sample of some of the noteworthy papers.


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Framing the information age

Maurice Broomfield is a 94-year-old photographer who has documented examples of 20th century industry. His lifelong work is about to be shown at two exhibitions in the UK, as detailed in an interview with the Financial Times. It made me wonder whether anyone is doing the equivalent for telecom and datacom? Mega data centres as IT cathedrals?

When writing features for FibreSystems Europe, I repeatedly asked for high-resolution striking images. The magazine's editors always wanted photos that included people, like Maurice Broomfield's photos.  Getting hold of such images did happen but not often.

Inspired by the Financial Times’ interview and Maurice Broomfield's beautiful images, some of the better images sent are presented here.


IBM data centre

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UNIC silicon modulator

Kotura has detailed a compact, low-power silicon-based optical modulator; an important building block to enable dense on-chip optical interconnects. The modulator operates at up to 11Gbit/s, consumes 0.5mW and has an area of 1000µm2.

This is the silicon photonic start-up’s first announced modulator. The design has been developed in conjunction with Sun Microsystems as part of the DAPRA Ultraperformance Nanophotonic Intrachip Communications (UNIC) programme.


An image of the modulator and a cross-section diagram of the ring waveguide. Source: Kotura

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Service providers' network planning in need of an overhaul

Operators are struggling to keep up with the demands being placed on their networks. Greater competition, quicker introductions of new services and uncertainty regarding their uptake are forcing operators to reassess how they undertake network planning. 

These are the findings of an operator study conducted by Analysys Mason on behalf of Amdocs, the business and operational support systems (BSS/ OSS) vendor.

Columns (left to right): 1) Stove-pipe solutions and legacy systems with no time-lined consolidated view 2) Too much time spent on manual processes 3) Too much time (or too little time) and investment on integration efforts with different OSS 4) Lack of consistent processes or tools to roll-out same resources/ technologies 5) Competition difficulties 6) Delays in launching new services. Source: Analysys MasonClick here to view full chart

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Why optical transceiver vendors are like discus-throwers


Guest blog on Lightwave magazine, click here.