Autumn 2013 Optical Connections Magazine

Issue 1 | September 2013

The Year in 12 Stories p8 Is silicon photonics an industry game-changer? p14 Guiding Europe through the FTTH funding maze p16 The dawn of collaborative multi-layer networking p18 Space division multiplexed systems using few mode fibre p20 European industry, are we ready! p22 Evolution of signal quality analyzers to multilevel signal generation p24 100G makes waves in the metro p26 Spectral manipulation and analysis for advanced optical communications systems p28 Software-defined optical networks p29 Reducing operating expense in fibre access networks p30 Consumer electronics: the next frontier for optical communications? p12

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In this issue

ECOC 2013 Exhibition Official Sponsors

Message from the Sponsor


Industry News


The Year in 12 Stories


Consumer electronics: the next frontier for optical communications?


By Pauline Rigby

Is silicon photonics an industry game-changer?


By Roy Rubenstein, Gazettabyte

Guiding Europe through the FTTH funding maze


By Hartwig Tauber, FTTH

The dawn of collaborative multi-layer networking


By Ori Gerstel, CISCO

Space division multiplexed systems using few mode fibre - EU project MODE-GAP 20 By Dr Ian Giles, MODE-GAP

European industry, are we ready!


By Carlos Lee, EPIC

Evolution of signal quality analyzers to multilevel signal generation


By Alessandro Messina, Anritsu

100G makes waves in the metro


By Pauline Rigby

Spectral manipulation and analysis for advanced optical communication systems 28 By Simon Poole, Finisar

ECOC Exhibition 2013 Official Media Partners

Software-defined optical networks



- Transforming the optical Layer into a programmable resource By Jorg-Peter Elbers, ADVA


Reducing operating expense in fibre access networks


By Max Penfold, UTEL

Optical Connections is published by

Endorsed by

NEXUS MEDIA EVENTS LTD Suite 5, Building 60, Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4YU United Kingdom t: +44 (0) 1732 752 125 | f: +44 (0) 1732 752 130

Optical Connections 2013 | | 3


Message from Sponsor

Anritsu are once again focusing on ECOC as the major European Optics Exhibition, and honoured to continuously be one of the sponsors of the show. In 2013 we continue to see technology convergence of the Telecomms Industry and the Computing Industry, with common push to innovation. Message from the Sponsor

building roadmaps to a future of lower power consumption, increased integration allowing more transmission ports in less space, and reduced costs. In the Test and Measurement arena, this evolution requires new intelligent test solutions to support research, development, production and deployment operations. Anritsu recently renewed and improved its most representative and leading R&D test platform, the MP1800 Signal Quality Analyser, adding new intelligent features, such as Automatic Emphasis configuration, Jitter Analysiswith J2/ J9, Pulse Amplitude Modulations, High Speed Multichannel Synchronous Transmission for testing complex modulations, thus supporting advanced research for high transmission speeds, at and beyond 400Gbps. Many key customers, working with Silicon Photonics, very high speed signals, and in theDataCenters andStorage world, have adopted MP1800 as their reference test solution. In the 100Gbps market segment,

Network links deployment has now started, and Anritsu’s MD1260A 40/100GE Analyzer provides a market unique Synchronous Multi- Unit testing solution which allows easy and exhaustive network load simulation and testing, including support for MPLS-TP, IPv4 and IPv6, Sweep Ping, ARP/GARP and FEC/ GMP Analysis While looking forward to the next generation of higher speed equipment, Operators, Carriers and ISPs are all investing in bringing fibers and high speed access to the end users. Finally, large investment plans are being established or already in place for more optical fibers deployments. Same as in R&D and Manufacturing, in the area of Optical Fibre Networks, PONs and FTTx services, Test and Measurement companies are required to bring not only technical improvements but also intelligence in each test solution, to ease the job for engineers in field. For this purpose, Anritsu is glad to show a range of new test solutions:

Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity, • and Automatic Macrobend Test Function, on the “micro-OTDR” series, with exclusive PON Selective Power Meter, as part of the revolutionary Network Master platform The “just released - first time • on show” new Automated Connector Graphical Analysis Function, based on IEC 61300- 3-35 standard The “just released - first time on • show” new Fiber Visualizer Tool on the Access Master OTDR The “just released - first time on • show” new 1490nm wavelength testing in Triple and Quad wavelengths modules for the Access Master OTDR All these solutions have been developed to help and support Operators and Installers who are concernedaboutROI,andtoreduce installation and maintenance costs

By Alessandro Messina W hile investigating new solutions to move beyond the 100Gbps transmission rate, all of the Industry big players and Standardization Committees, and also the technology evolution, are now focusing not only on speed increasebut also, andwith apparent higher priority, on reduced power consumption, size and cost, for any next to come networking solution. Three technologies are involved and directly influencing the chances for the Information and Telecommunication Industry to be able to move forward with a greener, more efficient, and higher speed networking system: Silicon Photonics, Integrated Optics and Modulation Techniques. Most of the big players in network equipment, and new players from the Silicon Industry, are now investing in researching these areas, and

of optical fibre networks. Alessandro Messina EMEA Wireline Marketing & Business Development Director, Anritsu

INDUSTRY NEWS Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and ID Photonics enhance modular multi-terabit solution

FraunhoferHeinrichHertzInstitute’s and ID Photonics’ Multi-Terabit test solution for multi-format, flexi-grid and flexi-rate optical transport systems now provides a sampling speed of up to 70 GSa/s enabling data rates beyond 320 Gbit/s per carrier. The modular test solution provides researchers and engineers a comprehensive way to design and test future ultra-high capacity network architectures with more than 64 Tbit/s for the coherent transmission era using various modulation formats and channel configurations with unsurpassed ease of operation. The multi-Terabit solution consists of intuitively

programmable 34 GSa/s and/ or 70 GSa/s arbitrary waveform generators and an optical multi- format transmitter that enables a flexible generation of optical data signals with various modulation formats (PSK, QPSK, 16-QAM, etc.) for more than 320 Gbit/s per carrier when using 16-QAM. The multi-format transmitter includes electrical driver amplifiers and a high-bandwidth dual polarization IQ-modulator as well as a pre- distortion to compensate for impairments caused by the high- speed electrical-to-optical signal conversion. Its unique capability to synchronizemultipleAWGchannels

and a waveform memory of 16 Mbit allows generating realistic transmission scenarios required for future network designs. ID Photonics versatile carrier comb generator provides up to 200 DWDM channels and consists of narrow line-width tunable lasers optimized for coherent transmission. On that basis, the platform allows for generation of multi-Terabit/s test signals (more than 64 Tbit/s when fully equipped) using different modulation formats, carrier spacings and wavelength bands in a very flexible way by just a few mouse clicks. The modular design of pluggable tunable laser

units with an industry- leading portfolio of chassis variants adapts to customer’s needs and easily allows extension of existing installations. We cordially invite you to find out more about our latest developments at the ECOC 2013. Meet us at our booths 205-321 in London, September 22 – 26 this year to discuss your testing needs and requirements with our experts. For more information, please see The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute also presents the latest PolyBoard tool box at ECOC 2013.

4 | Optical Connections 2013 | |


Industry News

Molex VITA 66.1 optical MT backplane interconnect system simplifies VPX-architecture

Tektronix unveils next generation high performance AWG series Tektronix, Inc., a leading worldwide provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation, has launched its next generation of arbitrary waveform generators that offer up to 50 GS/s sample rate performance. With the industry’s best combination of high sample rate (50GS/s), long waveform memory (16 GS) and deep dynamic range (10 bit vertical resolution), the new AWG70000 Series supports a wide range of demanding signal generation requirements in defence electronics, high-speed serial, optical networking and advanced research applications. NEWS IN BRIEF ProLabs releases details of two new cables A QSFP 40G passive cable, compati- ble with Cisco, Force10, Extreme and Enterasys, has been introduced to complement the recently announced QSFP 40G SR4 transceiver. In addition, an XFP active cable for connecting switches over short distances within the data centre has been developed. Both cables are ready to order and come in a range of standard and bespoke lengths. As with all ProLabs’ component based accessories, the cables are manufactured in accordance with industry standards, come with lifetime warranties and CapEx savings of up to 70%. TeraXion launches new sub-band chromatic dispersion emulator Already popular in a multichannel version for coherent systems testing and R&D labs, this chromatic dispersion emulator is now available in higher than 425 GHz continuous bandwidth allowing DSP managing capability testing of wide 100 Gb/s and above signals. The ClearSpectrumTM-CDE emulates tens of thousands of ps/nm in a compact unit while maintaining a very low insertion loss. It can be cascaded several times to achieve dispersion levels as high as transpacific link equivalents (12 000km). It is the best alternative to using fiber spools with 10 time lower losses and a 20 times smaller required rack space.

M olex VITA 66.1 ruggedised optical MT backplane interconnect solution for high-density aerospace, defence and commercial embedded system applications is fully compliant with the ANSI-ratified 66.1 specification. The system meets the defined requirements outlined by VITA 66.0 for blind mate fibre optic interconnects used with VITA 46 backplanes and

plug-in modules. Available with 8, 12 or 24 fibres in standard singlemodeormultimode

and VersaBeam™ (expanded beam) MT ferrule options for design flexibility,

a l u m i n i u m -

based housings provide a rugged solution for use in the designated VPX card space as determined by the standard, or can be used as a stand-alone solution outside of the VPX architecture. Visit Molex on Stand 221

it features a robust aluminium housing to withstand extreme temperature ranges (-50 to +105 °C), as well as shock and vibration environments. The anodized

Ultra high resolution Optical Spectrum Analyzer (OSA) APEX Technologies offers the highest resolution OSA in the market. With 500 times better

high wavelength accuracy +/- 3 pm and high dynamic range 83 dB. Two internal channels allow the measurement and display of both polarization axes simultaneously. The user can also operate this OSA as an independent high performance tunable laser source or as a component analyzer to characterize any optical active or passive component. Visit Apex on Stand 430

wavelength bandwidth resolution than the best standard grating based OSA, this equipment combines high wavelength bandwidth resolution 0.04 pm (5 MHz),

LC compact Push Pull uniboot connector Sanwa LC Push Pull Connectors offer the easiest installation and removal in the industry. When using this uniquely designed connector, there is never a reason to leave any additional space at top or bottom of the connector to allow for room to push down on its latch. Instead, the structure of LCPushPull is designed so that the latch can be slid back, instead of being pushed down, to facilitate smooth removal. Similarly, this connector is installed by simply pushing it into the adapter. highest density panel design ever, and LC Push Pull connectors can be used to minimize overall panel size. 2.0mm/3.0mm versions are available, in a choice of standard and short length boot. SM/MM/ APC versions are also optionally available. Actual samples are available at Sanwa booth at #620. More new products information can be also seen at our new website Optical Complex Spectrum Analyzer (OCSA) APEX Technologies OCSA can be used as an optical modulation analyzer and as an ultra high resolution optical spectrum analyzer. a function of time. Furthermore, the OCSA it can display constellation, phase and intensity eye diagrams, EVM, and BER estimation. This space-saving installation- removal process enables the

The OCSA can measure the intensity and the phase variations as a function of frequency. This information can then be used to calculate and display chirp, phase, alpha parameter or pulse shape as

The OCSA has no modulation format and bit rate limitations, it combines an ultra high wavelength bandwidth resolution (5 MHz) and temporal resolution (75 fs). Visit Apex on Stand 430

| Optical Connections 2013 | | 5


Industry News

Clean room production of cable assemblies: A move towards a higher-bandwidth World

10, 40, 100? Someone somewhere is going for higher and higher bandwidth. The possibilities these very high-speed networks offer are huge, however like all consumer services they will be covered by binding quality of service guarantees. One of the implications of this is that network component performance needs to rise to meet the challenge and Kamaxoptic Communication as always is working hard to provide a competitive solution for you to offer your clients. Currentstandardpracticesforthe mass-manufacturing of passive components, especially those such as pigtails and patchcords, need to be brought into line with the demands imposed by

the coming 100Gb regimes. Kamaxoptic Communication is working towards this new, very-high-speed world. We ultrasonically clean the ferrule and pay special attention to cleaning the fibre before insertion. For obvious reasons this has a clear impact on product performance but we are going further. Even slight contamination will occasionally mean that the epoxy is not always in complete contact with the ferrule. Temperature and humidity fluctuations will minutely pull and push the fiber over the life of the product with the risk of causing unpredictable, slight changes in fiber height. To minimize this we have built a clean room production line at our electrical & optical design expertise to offer customers reliable value- added solutions. Our copper and Active Optical Cables, or AOCs, provide optimum link performance, high reliability, inter-operability and ease of installation. Our cable assemblies are designed to meet applicable industry standards (i.e. SFF standards) as well as assure full compliance to various signalling protocols such as InfiniBand, FibreChannel, Ethernet, SAS, SATA, and PCIe standards This year at the 2013 ECOC Exhibition in London, FCI Electronics continues its tradition of introducing the latest optical technologies and developments to the optical design community. Several new technologies offering

factory in Shenzhen. Capacity is currently at 6000 terminations per day and growing.

need to

clean the end face before

installing the network which saves in in

on site time and materials. Contact us now for more details on this or any other enquiry or better yet visit us at booth 219 where we will be delighted to speak to you personally.

Another added benefit to ordering product from this high- end production is that there is no

FCI: Keeping The World Up To Pace

cost-effective for customers’ backplane and optical interconnect requirements, will be on display. We will conduct product demonstrations for On-board Optical Transceivers (OBT), which are designed to minimize the amount of PCB real estate required, whilst taking into account ease of application and removal or repair. A fully functional optical backplane, running at 10Gb/s per channel, that allows for multi-channel transmission through a backplane with up to 12 embedded optical waveguides per connector, as well as our latest developments on front panel input/output connector solutions. The optical interface is an FCI internally developed solutions

molded lens based system that allows for an accurate and reliable waveguide interface. We will also showcase our optical interconnect, optical transceiver, opticalcouplers&splittersandSAS connectors. Providing complete, cost-effective solutions that meet telecom, industrial and datacom requirements, our optical product portfolio and cable assembly solutions compliment its broad offering of optical connectors and cable assemblies. So come and visit us at the ECOC 2013 show booth 128 to learn more about our extensive range of optical interconnect solutions. For more information, please visit or contact us at

FCI is a global manufacturer and leading supplier of industry standard and application specific cable assemblies. We proudly offer a wide range of cable products designed to support the transmission of high-speed electrical and optical signals, as well as power. FCI cable assembly design and manufacturing uses state-of-the-art equipment and

Fujikura Europe launches lower cost splicing devices at ECOC 2013 – the 19S and 19R

Fujikura will launch two new fusion splicers at this year’s ECOC. Alongside its full range of hardware for networking the latest 19S and 19R will be exhibited for the first time. The

19S has been developed to be a lower cost alternative to the bestselling 70S fusion splicer which was launched earlier this year, featuring a shrink time of only 14 seconds. The 19R is a

four-fibre ribbon fusion splicer benefiting from a new design which streamlines the steps required to complete splices, resulting in greater productivity. Visit Fujikura on Stand 259

6 | Optical Connections 2013 | |

We invite you to visit us at booth 307 / 311!

70 GSa/s ARBITRARY WAVEFORM GENERATOR Two Time-Interleaved 35 GSa/s DACs

World’s Fastest Programmable Arbitrary Waveform Generator Sampling rate up to 70 GSa/s 18 GHz analogue bandwidth High output power > 14 dBm 2 x 2,7 million samples with 6 bit resolution freely programmable Precoding and preemphasis included in software Nyquist pulse shaping for rectangular spectrum generation Generation of wideband signals up to 50 GBd

Powered by

25G / 56G / 70G EAM-DFB-LASERS

Wavelengths O-band: 1295 nm...1310 nm Wavelengths C-band: 1530 nm...1565 nm

Drive voltage Vpp = 2V..3V Modulated output power Pout > 2 dBm 3-dB bandwidth > 30 GHz Compliant with IEEE-100GBASE-LR4 / -ER4 Suitable for PAM-4 modulation Integrated 50 Ohm termination

25 Gbit/s

56 Gbit/s

70 Gbit/s


The Year in 12 Stories

September 2012

Calix buys FTTH product line from Ericsson

O ptical access vendor Calix has signed two agreements with Ericsson that will boost its position in the FTTH market. The US company has agreed to purchase the fiber access assets from the Swedish firm; a global reseller agreement was also signed under which Calix will become Ericsson’s preferred global partner for broadband access applications. The two companies did not Z TE claims to have set a new world record for 400G high- speed optical transmission based on single-carrier DWDM. The Chinese vendor presented a paper about its work at ECOC in Amsterdam. In the experiment, ZTE successfully transmitted 40 channels, each carrying 400Gbps, over 2800km of standard singlemode fibre arranged in 35 spans, with 80 km per span. The previous distance record for single-carrier 400G transmission was 1200km, and relied on non- standard types of optical fibre as I n recent months Cisco Systems has been talking about its upcoming proprietary 100G optical module, dubbed CPAK. The development is expected to reduce the market opportunity for the CFP2 multi-source agreement (MSA) and has caused disquiet in the industry. “The CFP2 has been a bit slow – the MSA has taken longer than people expected – so Cisco announcing CPAK has frightened a few people,” said Paul Brooks, director for JDSU’s high speed transport test portfolio. The CPAK module, smaller than the CFP2 MSA and three November 2012 October 2012

disclose financial details. Calix has been exploring acquisition deals for a while. “We’ve been looking for a partner for some time and in order for us to growth internationally, in order for us to growth particularly at the Tier One accounts,” Michael Ashby, Calix’s chief financial officer, told the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference on 11 September. The US vendor did look at the

Nokia Siemens Networks deal and decided that it wasn’t the right partnership, he added. That business was sold to Adtran. For Ericsson, the deal allows the company to focus on core products without abandoning its existing portfolio or customers. “We believe that this partnership will provide our existing fiber access customers with world- class support and maintenance, and an expanded portfolio of

access systems and software from a leading company totally focused on access,” said Jan Häglund, vice president and head of product area IP and broadband at Ericsson. Calix expects the deal to close in October, after which it would add to its adjusted earnings. Calix also expects to see its headcount increase as it takes on 61 employees from Ericsson’s fibre access division.

ZTE boasts new 400G transmission record

well as Raman amplification. Optical vendors and carriers are investigating 400Gbps as a way to increase channel rate and overall system capacity. Single-carrier transmission has advantages over multi-carrier schemes because it has simple transmitting and receiving structures and is easier to manage, according to the Chinese vendor. ZTE also points out that the modulation scheme that it used – polarization-division multiplexing quadrature phase-shift keying (PDM-QPSK) – is a well-developed scheme that benefits from acute quarters its volume, has not been officially released and Cisco will not comment on the design, but the CPAK has been detailed in the company’s presentations. The CPAK is the first example of Cisco’s module design capability following its acquisition of silicon photonics player Lightwire. In addition, Cisco previously acquired CoreOptics, a developer of digital signal processing for high-speed optical transponders in 2010. The development of the module highlights how the acquisition of core technology can give an equipment maker the ability to

receiver sensitivity, which makes it possible to employ standard singlemode fibres and ordinary erbium-doped fibre amplifiers to achieve ultra-long-distance system transmission. That means no need for major modifications to the installed fibre base. “The experiment demonstrates the feasibility of deploying wavelengths beyond 100G over the current fibre transmission system,” said ZTE in its press release. The single-carrier system reaches 108 Gbaud, which the company claims is the highest develop proprietary interfaces that promise costs savings and differentiation. The development also raises a question mark regarding the CFP2 and the merit of MSAs when a potential leading customer of the CFP2 chooses to use its own design. But industry analysts do not believe it undermines the CFP2 MSA market. “I believe there is business for the CFP2,” said Daryl Inniss, practice leader, Ovum Components. “Cisco is shooting for a solution that has some staying power. The CFP2 is too large and the power consumption

symbol rate in the industry. It will be a number of years before the electronics needed to generate such high-speed signals becomes generally available, however, so the researchers used optical time- division multiplexing (OTDM) to generate the data signal. ZTE is clearly aiming to associate its name with high-speed transmission. The Chinese vendor says it had a prototype 1Tbps DWDM as early as July 2011, and that during 2012 it has released seven versions of 400G/1T DWDM prototype equipment targeting a variety of network applications too high while the CFP4 is too small and will take too long to get to market; CPAK is a great compromise.” Vladimir Kozlov, CEO of market research firm, LightCounting, is not surprised by the development. “Cisco could use more proprietary parts and technologies to compete with Huawei over the next decade,” he said. “From a transceiver vendor perspective, custom- made products are often more profitable than standard ones; unless Cisco will make everything in house, which is unlikely, it is not bad news.”

Cisco’s CPAK set to challenge the CFP2

8 | Optical Connections 2013 | |


The Year in 12 Stories

December 2012

Point topic: Europe halfway to digital heaven?

O ne of the European Union’s most ambitious targets is to make sure that all its citizens can get access to superfast broadband at home by 2020. A new study by Point Topic shows that Europe is now halfway towards achieving that aim. The study has been produced for DG Connect, the department of the European Commission responsible for its “Digital Agenda” strategy. The purpose of the Digital Agenda is to harness the internet and other digital technologies to drive sustainable economic growth. “This study gives us the best view so far of where action is needed on broadband coverage,” said Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission A s the optical industry approaches the fundamental physical limits of optical transmission, researchers are exploring new ways to increase capacity by using multi-core fibre (MCF). Now NEC Corporation of America and Corning Inc. say they have set a new transmission record by sending data at 1.05 Pbps (1015 bits per second) over a novel optical fibre containing 14 cores. The research was originally F rance Telecom-Orange and Alcatel-Lucent claim to have deployed “the world’s first optical link with a capacity of 400 Gbps per wavelength” on a live fibre-optic link between Paris and Lyon. This connection represents an important milestone for long- distance terrestrial network technology, the companies say. The 400G wavelength increases overall capacity increased by a factor of four compared to the January 2013 February 2013

responsible for the Digital Agenda. “It will help to guide decisions on where EU and private money can be invested to provide the best long-term return for taxpayers and investors such as pension funds.” Entitled Broadband Coverage in Europe in 2011, the study shows that almost 96% of the homes in Europe have access to basic broadband, defined as services offering at least 144kbps. More than half of homes can already get superfast broadband, providing speeds of at least 30Mbps. Basic broadband is fairly widespread now says Point Topic; only three EU countries have less than 90% coverage. But there are huge variations in availability of superfast broadband. Three EU countries (the Netherlands, Belgium

and Malta) have over 98%; three others (Italy, Greece and Cyprus) have less than 11%. All the rest are in the range between 35% and 75%. There are also large variations within countries. For example, rural areas across Europe as a whole are estimated to have only 12% superfast broadband coverage. The study also shows which competing technologies are taking a share of the superfast broadband market. “Despite all the publicity, FTTP [fibre to the premises] doesn’t offer the main route to digital heaven, at least not for the time being,” said Tim Johnson, who led the project as Point Topic’s chief analyst. To date, FTTP covers only 12% of homes. The biggest providers of superfast services are the cable

TV networks which can now reach 37% of EU homes with the up-to- date DOCSIS 3.0 standard. VDSL/ FTTC falls between the other two, reaching 21% of EU homes by the end of 2011. The three technologies together add up to only 50% total superfast coverage because they overlap a great deal, and often compete to serve the richer and more densely populated areas – leaving other areas underserved. The study only considers the current state of play and not how – or even whether – the Digital Agenda goals will be reached. Upgrading the 50% of Europe’s homes still without superfast broadband is likely to present a considerable challenge, especially in rural areas.

NEC, Corning achieve petabit optical transmission

reported at the 2012 Frontiers in Optics/Laser Science XXVIII (FiO/ LS) meeting in Rochester, NY, in October 2012. Designed by Corning researchers, the novel optical fibre has 12 singlemode cores and 2 few mode cores, which enables transmission over a large number of spatial modes. By combining multilevel modulation formatswithwavelength, polarization and spatial mode multiplexing, NEC researchers

achieved a total spectral efficiency of 109 bits/sec/Hz. The aggregate transmission capacity of 1.050 Pbps is the highest capacity over a single optical fiber reported so far, the researchers claim. Dr. Ting Wang, head of optical networking research at NEC Laboratories America, said the company has “opened new frontiers with the highest transmission capacity over any type of optical fibres”. The company is hoping to

develop technologies that will form the foundation of the next generation of optical networking. The NEC/Corning announcement follows news from Japanese electronics giant NTT and partners, who reported “ultra-large capacity transmission” in September 2012 of 1 Pbps over 52.4 km of 12-core optical fibre. The NTT experiment was presented as a post-deadline paper at ECOC 2012 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Alcatel-Lucent activates 400G wavelength for France Telecom

current maximum available. Using 44 wavelengths, the new optical link is capable of transmitting up to 17.6 Tbps of traffic in total. RENATER,thepublicinterestgroup that manages the communications network for education and research institutions in France, and a customer of Orange Business Services, will be the first to test the functionality of this new technology in a real-life situation. Patrick Donath, managing

director of RENATER, explains, “As part of our innovation program, we plan to test this optical fiber link in real conditions by using it to route traffic across one of our main backbone arteries between Paris and Lyon. This link transports the bulk of France’s scientific data that passes through our network. This pilot phase also aims to test the latest switching equipment supplied by major OEMs on a network running at this capacity

and will enable us the anticipate the architecture of RENATER’s network in the coming years. A 400-Gbps network is an important step forward for the networks and research projects of tomorrow.” France Telecom-Orange also pointed out that the single- wavelength technology will help reduce energy consumption on its network, while also optimizing operating and network maintenance costs.

| Optical Connections 2013 | | 9


The Year in 12 Stories

March 2013

Compass-EOS puts optical interface directly onto core router chip

S tart-up Compass-EOS has announced availability of an IP core router based on an electronic chip with a terabit-plus optical interface. Having an optical interface directly to the silicon – which includes a merchant network processor – simplifies the system design and enables the router to incorporate such features as real output queuing, the start-up says. The r10004 IP router is in production and is already deployed in an operator’s network. The company’s icPhotonics chip integrates 168 x 8Gbps VCSELs and 168 photodetectors for a A vago Technologies has announced a definitive agreement to acquire optical component player CyOptics. The value of the acquisition, at $400 million ( € 304 million), is double CyOptics’ revenues in 2012. CyOptics’ sales were $210 million ( € 160million) last year, up 21 percent from the previous year. Avago’s acquisition will make it the optical component industry’s second largest company, behind Finisar,accordingtomarketresearch firm, Ovum. The deal is expected to M arlin Equity Partners has closed its acquisition of Nokia Siemens Networks’ optical networks business, thus completing the transfer of the company’s optical business to Coriant (see Nokia Siemens exits optical hardware business). Officially “unleashed” at the OFC/NFOEC tradeshow in March – to use the term at the centre of its marketing campaign – Coriant is now an independent optical transport systems company, planning to concentrate on April 2013 May 2013

bandwidth of 1.344Tbps each direction. Eight of these chips are connected in a full mesh, doing away with the need for a router’s switch fabric and mid-plane used to interconnect the router cards. This saves on power consumption, space and cost, says Asaf Somekh, vice president of marketing at Compass-EOS. The start-up estimates that its platform’s total cost of ownership over five years is a quarter to a third of competing IP core routers. The high-bandwidth optical links will also enable system interconnect. Compass-EOS is coming tomarket with a standalone be completed in the third quarter of the year. The deal will add indium phosphide and planar lightwave circuit technologies to Avago’s vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) and optical transceiver products. In particular, Avago will gain edge laser technology and photonic integration expertise. It will also inherit an advanced automated manufacturing site as well as entry into new markets such as passive optical networking (PON). Avago stresses its interest in coherent transport and software-defined optical intelligence. Coriant starts out withoperations in 48 countries and the majority of employees from the former Nokia Siemens business unit, including the management team. The headquarters remain in Munich; and Herbert Merz, previously head of optical networks at Nokia Siemens, has become Coriant’s president and CEO. The product line includes the hiT 7300 DWDM/OTN transport 100G

6U-high platform but says it will connect up to 21 platforms that appear as one large logical router. The 800Gbps-capacity IP router comes with 2x100Gbps and 20x10Gbps line cards. The platform has real output queuing where all the input ports’ packets are queued before quality of service is applied prior to the exit port. The router also supports software-defined networking to enable external control of traffic. The start-up refers to its optical interface IC as silicon photonics but a more accurate description is integrated silicon-optics; silicon itself is not used as a medium for acquiring CyOptics is to bolster its data centre offerings – in particular 40G and 100G data centre and enterprise applications – as well as benefit from the growing PON market. “Avago has seen that there are challenges being solely a short- distance supplier, and there are opportunities expanding its portfolio and strategy,” said Daryl Inniss, Ovum’s vice president and practice leader components. Such opportunities include larger data centres now being built and platform, the hiT 7100 OTN switch, and the hiT 70xx series of multiservice provisioning platforms. The company also supplies the TNMS network management software and TransNet and TransConnect network planning tools. Writing in a blog post for the OFC/NFOEC show, Merz described Coriant’s world view. “We all know that 100Ghas started now, driven by mobility, video, and cloud services. What does that mean for us? Data traffic will

light. However, Compass-EOS’s platform shows how optics can be used for chip-to-chip links to enable disruptive system designs. Somekh says the development of the integrated optical interface has been challenging, requiring three years of development working with the Fraunhofer Institute and Tel-Aviv University. One challenge was developing a glue to fix the VCSELs on top of the silicon. The start-up has raised over $120 million with investors such as Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom and Comcast as well as several venture capitalist firms. their greater use of singlemode fibre that is becoming an attractive alternative to multimode as data rates and reach requirements increase. Another factor motivating the acquisition is that short-distance interconnections are being challenged by silicon photonics. “In the long run silicon photonics is going to win,” said Inniss. The company says it has no plans to enter the longer distance optical transmission market beyond supplying optical components. become more unpredictable than ever, forcing customers to bring agility, capacity and flexibility to their networks. The challenge is to change from a static, hardware-centric infrastructure to more adaptable, software- defined optical networks that enable rapid delivery of end-to- end services.” In January 2013, Marlin Equity Partners completed the acquisition of Sycamore Networks, now called Sycamore Networks Solutions.

Avago announces its intention to acquire CyOptics

Coriant enters optical market, as Nokia Siemens bows out

10 | Optical Connections 2013 | |


The Year in 12 Stories

June 2013

DANTE, Infinera claim provisioning speed record

D ANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe), the organisation that operates the pan-European GÉANT research and education network, says it installed and activated 2 Tbps of capacity and provisioned a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) service in less than 12 minutes combined. The pan-European network operator used production DTN-X platforms from Infinera, which have been deployed on the GÉANT fibre-optic network backbone as part of a substantial upgrade that began last year. F inisar and u²t Photonics have gained exclusive use of indium phosphide- based modulator technology developed at the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute (HHI). The two companies will also jointly develop the technology for transmitter designs at 100G and beyond. Finisar and u²t immediately gain polarisation multiplexed I-Q modulator technology for 100Gbps coherent applications following the agreement. Meanwhile, u²t has also acquired the assets of COGO Optronics U S carrier Verizon has demonstrated 200Gbps optical transmission over 260 miles of its optical network linking New York and Boston. The trial used equipment from system vendor Ciena that included the vendor’s WaveLogic3 coherent optical processor and test software to implement higher order modulation based on 16- QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation). The 16-QAM July 2013 August 2013

The Amsterdam-Frankfurt link was selected for the demonstration because this route is one of the busiest in Europe. The 671-km route included 10 spans and currently is in service carrying production traffic for the European national research and education (R&E) community. “When Infinera was involved in the procurement process for the GÉANT backbone they made a number of claims about their ability to turn up long-haul capacity very rapidly, and we decided to put those claims to the test,” said Michael Enrico, CTO of DANTE. GmbH, the former German operating subsidiary of COGO Optronics. Finisar says it has worked with COGO since 2009 to commercialise HHI’s indium phosphide Mach-Zehnder modulator technology for several of its 40G and 100G transceivers. The acquisition of COGO Optronics GmbH and the memorandum of understanding with Finisar and HHI further broadens u²t’s component portfolio. Known for its high- speed detectors and coherent receiver devices, u²t already

“The fact is that critical science experiments across Europe are generating immense quantities of data that are often difficult to fit into a forecasting process, so this ability to turn up, or redirect long haul capacity in a matter of minutes will help us transform the service we offer to our national research and education network partners.” The demonstration involved lighting up 2 Tbps of capacity over four 500-Gbps superchannels, and then provisioning a 100GbE service across the link. Infinera has released a time-lapse video of has gallium arsenide modulator technology which it claims has a performance similar to a lithium niobate modulator yet is considerably smaller. Indeed u²t expects gallium arsenide’s power and size, along with the company’s coherent receiver, to fit within the CFP2 pluggable module. Such an optical module design could meet long-haul requirements. Indium phosphide modulators do not match the reach performance of gallium arsenide but they are even smaller. Such designs could serve metro

the provisioning process. “This was a genuine test of our rapid provisioning capability, using real production equipment and software,” said Geoff Bennett, director of solutions and technology at Infinera. “If we had used conventional 100G transponders we would need a total of 40 of them – 20 at each end. But the Infinera 500G solution allows an engineer to provision up to five times as much capacity in a single operational cycle. Enabling our customers to use time as a weapon is a key value of coherent superchannels.” applications yet fit within a CFP4 package. Such compact line side designs will also be of key interest for Finisar. “We believe this new relationship with u²t and our joint exclusive access to HHI’s Mach-Zehnder modulator technology will enable the rapid development of new indium phosphide Mach-Zehnder modulators for next-generation 100G coherent long-haul line cards and pluggable 100G coherent metro transceivers,” said John Clark, Finisar’s executive vice president for technology and global R&D.

Finisar and u²t Photonics capture 100G coherent modulator technology

Verizon trials 200G long-distance transmission using 16-QAM

signal was carried over a single wavelength and occupied a 50GHz channel. The trial was conducted for over a month with the 200G traffic being sent alongside live customer traffic. “Proving greater spectral efficiency and a lower cost per bit, this trial illustrates the ability to double the traffic carrying capacity of optical channels with no change to the underlying infrastructure,” said Francois Locoh-Donou, senior vice

president, global products group at Ciena. Verizon reported in late 2012 that it had already deployed 100Gbps wavelengths in over 13,000 miles in the United States and 1,616 miles in Europe. The operator said increased video traffic, growth in data traffic from its LTE rollout, and cloud usage are driving increased capacity. The 16-QAM higher modulation scheme offers a way to double capacity but at the expense

of reach. Operators see the technology as a valuable way to extend capacity for links in shorter distance metro and metro/ regional networks. In February, Orange (France Telecom) announced that it had deployed the world’s first 400 Gbps per wavelength connection. The link between Paris and Lyon, a relatively short distance, used Alcatel-Lucent’s coherent processor and also used higher order modulation.

| Optical Connections 2013 | | 11



Consumer electronics: the next frontier for optical communications?

inside the cable, the alignment issues become much easier to manage. There are other advantages too. Opticsisimmunetoelectromagnetic interference and the cable is much lighter than its copper equivalent. And since it is effectively invisible to the outside world, engineers are free to put whatever optical technology they like inside the cable, whether proprietary or standards-based. They canuse serial or parallel optics, any combination of wavelength and modulation scheme, andany optical fibre type they like including plastic. “What happens in the cable, stays in the cable”, as LightCounting analyst Dale Murray puts it. The upshot is that it’s quicker for manufacturers to get new products to market. The crossover point from copper tooptical cabling is typically reached when the desired speed exceeds copper’s ability to deliver that speed over the desired distance. Starting out in high-performance computers (HPC), the use of AOCs soon spread to traditional data centres and multiple protocols. Thanks to the rapid adoption of 4 x 14G FDR QSFP+ modules, the InfiniBand market currently holds the largest share of the AOC market today, according to LightCounting. Ethernet-based AOCs are now seeing adoption, and other interconnect protocols such as PCI Express are potential candidates for AOCs when their data rates exceed 10Gbps. When interfaces on consumer gadgets hit speeds of 10Gbps, vendors started to look at using optical cables. In 2009, Intel officials tickled the high-tech consumer’s fancy by talking about a new high- capacity cable code named Light Peak. As a universal connector to replace all other connectors, Light Peak would be ideal for a small device like a tablet or phone that had limited real estate for ports, and Apple was said to be pushing the development. Volume production was expected to bring the cost down, with Intel predicting that Light Peak cables “will be no more expensive than HDMI”.

A couple of years later, Light Peak had morphed into Thunderbolt, which combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into one serial signal alongside a DC connection for electric power. The early cable implementations were based on copper wires rather than optical fibres (although optical versions were still being promised). So what happened? Few consumer applications demand both high bandwidth and long distances simultaneously, explained Murray. Perhaps the graphic designer working in his home office needs a high-specification cable to connect his PC to a storage device in the closet, but the consumer who simply wants to connect a video camera to the high-definition TV in his living room can still manage with copper. The ability to transmit power over the cable also tipped the scales in copper’s favour. The optical version of Thunderbolt did appear on the market in January 2013, with Corning Cable Systems and Sumitomo both releasing products ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Corning also demonstrated an optical version of the USB 3.0 interface. With these product introductions the consumer market for AOCs has become a reality, although at present it is still very small. And optical performance comes at a price, with optical Thunderbolt cables selling for as much as fifty times more than the copper versions. The consumer market can be unpredictable, and what LightCounting calls the “optical Thunderbolt factor” remains to be determined. The consumer market is so enormous, that a particular cable format would only need to capture a tiny percentage of it to generate significant revenues. If a compelling combination of price, performance and application were to come together, things could easily change. That’s given vendors a huge impetus to develop new products. “The market is certainly one to watch, and we will,” said LightCounting’s Murray.

By Pauline Rigby O ptical technology has transformed many consumer applications. The availability of inexpensive diode lasers for CD players has revolutionized home entertainment, made high-quality laser printing affordable for small businesses and home users, and enabled numerous other products that generate billions of dollars in global revenues annually. Consumer applications undeniably represent a massive opportunity for any vendor. Now it looks like optical communications – in the shape of the active optical cable – may find a place in the consumer’s home too. The market for active optical cables (AOCs) has been measured at $100 million (£65.5 million) and is expected to grow 30% in 2013 to reach $150 million, according to market research firm LightCounting. This type of cable is mainly used in high-performance computing and data centre environments today. If AOCs were to take off in consumer applications, it would blow the market forecasts out of the water. But nobody is sure when – or even if – that will happen. Put simply, an active optical cable is an optical cable with an electronic interface at both ends. Launched commercially in 2007, they were originally developed as a way to make optical transceivers less expensive to manufacture. Connecting optical fibres requires alignment across six degrees of freedom. By embedding the optics

It’s a cable Jim, but not as we know it. Credit: Sumitomo Electric Industries.

Right now, however, the interface market is very fragmented, he says. There are already a number of digital interface formats that compete with each other, including Thunderbolt, HDMI and USB 3.0, and new proposals come forward on a regular basis. The HDBaseT Alliance wants to redefine digital connectivity in your living room; OCuLink is a new cable format for PCI Express connected storage devices. The consumer also has multiple choices about how best to meettheirconnectivityrequirements. There are old technology choices, such as media converters and extenders, as well as the new technology choices, both wired and wireless (and wireless technologies keep getting faster too). Whether or not active optical cables manage to capture the hearts and minds (and the wallets) of consumers, Murray feels that the optical communications industry can only benefit from the development push. “From the standpointofvolumemanufacturing, any active optical cable that is going to succeed in the consumer or prosumer market is going to have to be in the latest design. Just the need and the people attempting to meet that need will generate better optoelectronic transceiver packaging,” he concluded. Pauline is a freelance technology writer and contributing editor to

12 | Optical Connections 2013 | |

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