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Entries in colourless (7)


Adding an extra dimension to ROADM designs  

U.K. start-up ROADMap Systems, a developer of wavelength-selective switch technology, has completed a second round of funding. The amount is undisclosed but the start-up is believed to have raised several million dollars to date.

Karl HeeksThe company will use the funding to develop a prototype of its two-dimensional (2D) optical beam-steering technique to integrate 24 wavelength-selective switches (WSSes) within a single platform.

The WSS is a key building block used within reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADMs).

The company’s WSS technology uses liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) technology, the basis of existing WSS designs from the likes of Finisar and Lumentum. However, the start-up has developed a way to steer beams in 2D whereas current WSSes operate in a single dimension only.

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ECOC 2013 review - Part 2

The final part of some of the notable product announcements made at the recent European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) exhibition held in London.  

  • Oclaro's Raman and hybrid amplifier platform for new networks
  • MxN wavelength-selective switch from JDSU
  • 200 Gigabit multi-vendor coherent demonstration
  • Tunable SFP+ designs proliferate
  • Finisar extends 40 Gigabit QSFP to 40km
  • Oclaro’s tackles wireless backhaul with 2km SFP+ module


Finisar's 40km 40 Gig QSFP+ demo. Source: Finisar

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100 Gigabit 'unstoppable'

A Q&A with Andrew Schmitt (@aschmitt), directing analyst for optical at Infonetics Research.

"40Gbps has even less value in the metro than in the core"

Andrew Schmitt, Infonetics Research



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ROADMs: core role, modest return for component players

Next-generation reconfigurable optical add/ drop multiplexers (ROADMs) will perform an important role in simplifying network operation but optical component vendors making the core component  - the wavelength-selective switch (WSS) - on which such ROADMs will be based should expect a limited return for their efforts.


"[Component suppliers] are going to be under extreme constraints on pricing and cost"

Sterling Perrin, Heavy Reading





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Capella: Why the ROADM market is a good place to be  

Gazettabyte spoke with Larry Schwerin, CEO of Capella Intelligent Subsystems, about the ROADM market, the company's plans following its latest funding round, and the idea of a WSS-on-a-chip.

The reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) market has been the best performing segment of the optical networking market over the last year. According to Infonetics Research, ROADM-based wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) equipment grew 20% from Q2, 2010 to Q1, 2011 whereas the overall optical networking market grew 7%.


“It’s the Moore’s Law: Every two years we are doubling the capacity in terms of channel count and port count”

Larry Schwerin, Capella



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To efficiency and beyond

Briefing:  Dynamic optical networks

Part 3: ROADM and control plane developments

ROADMs and control plane technology look set to finally deliver reconfigurable optical networks but challenges remain.

Operators are assessing how best to architect their networks - from the router to the optical layer - to boost efficiencies and reduce costs.  It is developments at the photonic layer that promise to make the most telling contribution to lowering the cost of transport, a necessity given how the revenue-per-bit that carriers receive continues to dwindle.


Global ROADM forecast 2009 -14 in US $ miliions Source: Ovum

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ROADMS: When "-less" is more

The telecom industry is right up there when it comes to acronyms and complex naming schemes but it is probably no worse than other industries.

One only has to look at neighbouring IT and cloud computing in particular with its PaaS, IaaS and SaaS (Platform-, Infrastructure- and Software-as-a-Service).

But when it comes to agile optical networking and the reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM), what is notable is the smarts that are being added and yet all are described using the “-less” suffix: colourless, directionless, contentionless and gridless.

These are all logical names once the enhancements they add are explained. But as Infonetics Research analyst Andrew Schmitt has pointed out, the industry could do better with its naming schemes. Even the most gifted sales person may be challenged selling the merits of a colourless, directionless product.

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