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Analyst Video: Infonetics on Core Network Trends
IHS Infonetics' analyst Andrew Schmitt talks about how 100G is the catalyst for new technologies such as OTN switching
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Super-channels: The Future of Optical Transport
Learn more about the world's first 500G super-channel technology, shipping now.
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Single-card Terabit-scale PIC Field Trial
Infinera and DANTE demonstrate single-card Terabit FlexCoherent Super-channel on the GEANT network

With core network traffic increasing at about 40% per year, service providers need a long haul transmission technology that will deliver scalable, cost-effective capacity without compromising on optical reach. The DWDM industry is now aligned on the fact that multi-carrier super-channels are the way to quickly access the spectral capacity that coherent transmission delivers in a way that will scale WDM without scaling operations.

Building super-channel line modules requires both electronics and optical technology functions. Infinera’s FlexCoherent Processor provides the electronics function, delivering the industry’s first shipping coherent electronic ASIC featuring software selectable modulation. Infinera’s third generation 500 Gb/s Photonic Integrated Circuit provides the optical technology in the super-channel implementation, integrating over 600 optical functions into a pair of small fingernail-sized chips.

Implementing Super-channels Without Large Scale PICs

For companies who do not have access to large scale photonic integration IP (intellectual property) they must use off the shelf optical components which consume more space and power than PICs – limiting single line card capacity to one long reach 100G channel using QPSK modulation. In order to get more throughput they must use higher order 16QAM modulation in order to increase that to 200 Gb/s on a single line card. Two of these line cards are then combined together to create a 400 Gb/s, 16QAM super-channel. 16QAM has higher spectral efficiency but provides a dramatically shorter optical reach compared to QPSK limiting applicability to shorter metro networks.

Implementing Super-channels With Large Scale PICs

For companies who do not have access to large scale photonic integration IP (intellectual property) they must use off the shelf optical components which consume more space and power than PICs – limiting single line card capacity to one long reach 100G channel using QPSK modulation. In order to get more throughput they must use higher order 16QAM modulation in order to increase that to 200 Gb/s on a single line card. Two of these line cards are then combined together to create a 400 Gb/s, 16QAM super-channel. 16QAM has higher spectral efficiency but provides a dramatically shorter optical reach compared to QPSK limiting applicability to shorter metro networks.

So don’t let your super-channels come up short – contact us today to arrange a demonstration of our award-winning platforms that use large-scale PICs.

Type Technology Data Rate Reach No. of cards Shipping
Alternate Dual-card 16QAM Discretes, Off-the-shelf 400Gb/s ~100s of km (typical ~500 km) 2 ?
Infinera Single-card QPSK PICs 500Gb/s ~1000s of km (typical ~3000 km) 1 Since 2012

Reach is estimated for terrestrial application based on real-world fiber and standard operational margins, not on labs conditions using specialized fiber.

A new world record

On August 13, 2013 Infinera and DANTE showcased the fastest provisioned network in the world on the GÉANT backbone in Europe using the super-channel technology. Guinness World Records verified the provisioning rate of 26.02Tb/s per hour of optical capacity on a live network link between Amsterdam and Hamburg. The Official Guinness World Record

8 Tb/s provisioned in 19 minutes | That’s 26.03 Tb/s per hour | A new Guinness world record!