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Tags: Innovation
March 21, 2016

A Quantum Leap to Multi-terabits with the Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine

Pravin Mahajan - headshotBy Pravin Mahajan

Director of Product and Corporate Marketing

Last week I blogged that new innovations are required to scale networks to meet the seemingly infinite increase in bandwidth demand, making 2016 an ideal year to leap ahead of the current generation of optical technologies.

Today Infinera unveiled the industry’s first multi-terabit opto-electronic subsystem – the Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine – delivering the next step function in transport network performance.

The Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine is powered by the advanced electronics in the next-generation FlexCoherent® Processor combined with the cutting-edge photonics of Infinera’s fourth-generation photonic integrated circuit (PIC). The Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine is the first in the industry to offer network operators the combined benefits of delivering encrypted optical super-channel capacity up to 2.4 Tb/s and reach up to 12,000 kilometers in one of the world’s smallest subsystems. And it provides this capacity and reach with very low power consumption, 82 percent lower than the nearest market competitor.

The Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine is a family of engines, featuring different optical subsystems customized for different network applications across the Infinera end-to-end Intelligent Transport Network product portfolio. The Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine will be incorporated into next-generation platforms within the DTN-X, TM-Series and Cloud Xpress families for long-haul terrestrial, subsea, metro and data center interconnect networks.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOA2LmodAns&w=640&h=360]

One of the key tenets of the award-winning Infinera DTN-X Family is investment protection exemplified in the future-proof design of the XTC-10 and XTC-4 platforms with scaling enabled by terabit super-channels. Infinera’s design philosophy is fundamentally different from that represented in competitive platforms that have evolved from the pre-10G era and are now reaching their architectural limits. As a result of these architecture limitations, there have been a flurry of new competitive platform announcements recently that all promise to scale to terabits sometime in the future.

I believe that Infinera has leapfrogged the competition by offering the most feature-rich and scalable transport solution. The Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine delivers 2.4 Tb/s of capacity in a single module with a single fiber pair, and is simultaneously sliceable – which means it is able to tune and route a 100 gigabits per second (Gb/s) wavelength or N x 100 Gb/s super-channels in multiple separate directions. In addition to having its own coherent modulation profile, each wavelength can be fully tuned to its own flexible grid frequency. The result is a highly flexible optical transport network with  up to 77 percent fewer modules in networks, resulting in 53 percent lower total cost of ownership (click here to read the TCO white paper). The sliceable photonics solution from Infinera simplifies traffic aggregation while providing 100G economics at multi-terabit scale. In contrast, competitive solutions that are being built without PIC technology scale using single-wavelength 200G or even 400G technologies, with typical implementations requiring multiple cards. This approach still requires a larger number of modules resulting in more fibers, more power consumption and more rack space. The granularity of each wavelength increases while reach decreases – because of a requirement of higher order modulations – making it more challenging to efficiently use the wavelength fully in a network.

sliceable super-channels

In comparison, the Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine enables complete flexibility while reducing modules and fibers. Because it can be used within a single module, the Infinite Capacity Engine can emit multiple wavelengths in parallel. This combined with sliceable photonics and C-band flexible grid frequency allows network operators to set any modulation profile and any direction in conjunction with FlexROADMs. This approach mirrors that of the scalable multi-core server architecture – parallelism is good.

By dramatically reducing operational rigidity and forecasting complexity, Infinera is enabling a new approach to optical network architectures. With Instant Bandwidth, the Infinite Capacity Engine delivers large quantities of pre-deployed, service-ready bandwidth that can be provisioned via software activation in 100 Gb/s increments enabling pay-as-you-grow scalability. Network operators can instantly deploy line-side bandwidth and services without incurring truck rolls, time and cost penalties. They can rapidly scale optical networks, in order to match the expense associated with business imperatives to facilitate end-customer revenue. Infinera recently advanced the Instant Bandwidth solution with an on-demand time-based capability. Infinera’s Time-based Instant Bandwidth enables network operators to temporarily activate line-side bandwidth in various increments depending on the application, with deactivation at the end of a customer-specified time period. This helps increase network bandwidth for planned scenarios like sports events and unplanned scenarios like cable cuts. The Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine is instrumental in creating a latent pool of massive network bandwidth that is fully programmable with software defined networking (SDN) control.

Infinera is renowned for its industry-leading technology innovation. Today we continue that tradition, ushering in a new era in optical transport with the Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine. By combining cutting-edge photonics and advanced electronics, Infinera is enabling an infinite pool of intelligent bandwidth that the next communications infrastructure is built upon.

For more information on Intelligent Transport Networks contact us.

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