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January 5, 2016

A Decade Of Optical Technology Innovation With More To Come!

Dave Welch HeadshotBy Dave Welch

Co-founder and President, Infinera

As we ring in a new year, I find it inspiring to consider how different Infinera is today than it was a year ago.  Even more interesting is to think back to 2004, when our first platform shipped, and consider how much has changed in the optical market over those 10-plus years.

Over the last decade, the optical industry has gone through dramatic changes. There has been widespread consolidation while online video and the explosion of business and consumer applications in the cloud have simultaneously driven significant increases in bandwidth requirements.

In 2000, Infinera founders had the foresight that photonic integrated circuits (PICs) would bring Moore’s Law-like performance to optical transport and revolutionize the optical transport industry. Infinera delivered on this insight, developing unique large-scale PICs enabling innovative optical networking solutions for the most demanding networks.

Infinera’s earliest PIC-based Intelligent Transport Networks enabled network operators to efficiently deploy scalable WDM systems to carry information primarily in long-haul and subsea networks. Fast forward just over ten years and Intelligent Transport Networks support the growing demand for high bandwidth across various network locations from the core all the way to the access.

In 2012 Infinera entered the 100G long-haul market with a PIC-based platform, skipping over 40G. It was a big bet and one that paid off. We believe our DTN-X Family played a significant role in influencing the acceleration of the 100G long-haul market. Today, Infinera is an industry leader, having shipped over 24 percent of all 100G long-haul ports ever sold since 1Q-10, according to Dell’Oro*.

In 2014, Infinera introduced the industry’s first metro Datacenter Interconnect (DCI) platform to help service providers with burgeoning datacenter-to-datacenter traffic. The Cloud Xpress, a PIC-based platform purpose-built for the metro DCI application, intersected the inflection point of this rapidly growing 100G market. Today we are shipping Cloud Xpress with 10 gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 40 GbE and 100 GbE interfaces, offering truly optimized rack-and-stack-style DCI platforms.

2015 has been a momentous year for Infinera building out an end-to-end packet optical offering, which addresses the entire metro and long-haul transport market.

A few of the most significant accomplishments include:



Flaggbyte_1Out of these milestones, one of the most significant was Infinera’s acquisition of Transmode, bringing together two industry innovators. This acquisition, in conjunction with the introduction of our XTC-2/2E platform, enables Infinera to address the metro market as it moves to 100G and to offer an end-to-end product portfolio to address the $15.3 billion global optical networking market**. Founded in 2000, Transmode delivered some of the world’s first metro-optimized WDM products. Over the years Transmode shipped over 50,000 chassis into networks across the globe. In 2015, just prior to the acquisition by Infinera, the company introduced the PT-Fabric, a terabit-level packet transport switch for the TM-Series. This device enables real 100G packet-optical networking in metro networks and can be installed in any of the 20,000+ TM-3000 or TM-301 chassis that the company has shipped since 2001.

As I look ahead to 2016 I expect network operators will continue to transform their networks to 100G and move to cloud-based architectures. I look forward to helping our customers succeed in their markets with a best-in-class end-to-end optical portfolio, systems that allow rapid bandwidth and service activation to use time as a weapon all with an underpinning of world class customer service.

Related links:

* Dell’Oro O20A DWDM LH Vendor Table 3Q15

** Source: Infonetics Q4 2014 Market Forecast for 2019

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