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ECOC 2022: Time for Innovation

portrait of Fady Masoud

September 15, 2022
By Fady Masoud
Director, Solutions Marketing

The historic city of Basel will be leaping into the future as the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) takes place on September 18-22, 2022, showcasing some of the industry’s most advanced technology breakthroughs. At the center stage of these technologies is XR optics – the industry’s first scalable point-to-point and point-to-multipoint optical intelligent coherent transceivers. The technology enables direct low-speed to high-speed optical transceiver connectivity over a fiber pair or a single fiber.

Switzerland is renowned for its long history with clocks, watches, and precision timing. It is very apt that it is the location where XR optics comes of age with the first ever live public demonstration of the technology. After 120+ customer demos, lab/field trials, and proof-of-concept demonstrations in over 30 countries, Swiss time is the right time for Infinera to showcase the industry’s first powered setup of ICE-XR intelligent coherent pluggables.

The groundbreaking demonstration will highlight:

  • Point-to-point and point-to-multipoint configurations
  • QSFP-DD and CFP2 form factors
  • Third-party and Infinera host devices
  • Operation in routers and optical transport platforms
  • Dual-fiber and single-fiber operation

This demo comes after the Open XR Forum announced its first approved specification, defining a new dual-management paradigm for enhanced network management of intelligent pluggable coherent optical technology. This specification was developed through a collaboration of leading global service providers and establishes the framework for addressing the challenges of rapidly introducing the intelligent coherent optical engines and advanced transport features that will be deployed in a wider variety of networking devices such as routers, servers, and mobile network radio units.

If you are attending ECOC 2022 in person, you can hear some of Infinera’s experts talking about the latest technology breakthroughs in subsystems, optical systems, and applications.

You may also want to book some time on your agenda to attend the Open XR Forum Symposium on Tuesday, September 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the MCH Lounge located in the foyer, South section of the City Lounge, directly next to the entrance to the event hall. The Open XR Forum Symposium is open to all and will feature discussions on cutting-edge innovation in coherent pluggables, including:

  • XR optics case studies and applications from industry-leading service providers including BT, TIM (Telecom Italia), and Telefónica
  • Updates on XR optics proof-of-concept test beds that demonstrate the technology’s coherent Nyquist subcarrier capabilities, including point-to-point and point-to-multipoint connections over disaggregated line systems.
  • Overview of the XR optics roadmap and specifications, including the recently released Open XR Network Management Architecture Specification
  • Support for XR optics by network equipment manufacturers

Performance or Flexibility? Choose Both

ICE-XR is a different breed of optical technology when compared to current coherent pluggables. Designed and built as an intelligent coherent pluggable with high optical performance, ICE-XR has 0 dBm launch power and is powered by numerous embedded system-level features.

Utilizing these capabilities, ICE-XR enables a comprehensive networking solution that helps operators simplify networks, reduce total cost of ownership by up to 70%, and provide a whole new level of capacity to metro aggregation networks. Additionally, the flexibility of supporting both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint configurations and operating over a fiber pair or a single fiber broadens the application scope to include PON overlay and 5G xHaul.

When point-to-point connectivity is required, XR optics is designed to enable it without comprising on performance or management. XR optics’ high optical performance, 0 dBm in a QSFP-DD form factor, and spectral shaping enable scalable 400G connectivity over longer distances, as well as over current optical networking building blocks such as filters or ROADMs.

XR optics’ enhanced management and embedded features allow faster turn-up, quick diagnostics, and failure prediction with real-time telemetry.

Some of these performance metrics have already been put to the test as Infinera successfully completed an ICE-XR optical performance test in a U.S. Tier 1 network operator’s verification lab. The ICE-XR QSFP-DD intelligent coherent optical pluggables demonstrated leading optical performance over the point-to-point testbed, launching 400 GbE at 0 dBm into a third-party 75 GHz optical line system. The ICE-XR 400G optical point-to-point performance tests were expressed through multiple ROADM sites where full 400 GbE client traffic was enabled and monitored over various route configurations. Test configurations were performed with optical performance margins over a 1440-km ULL fiber 14-span route and a 1060-km LEAF fiber 14-span route.

Some of these features will also be part of Infinera’s powered ICE-XR demo at ECOC 2022.

In addition to lowering TCO and enhancing networking flexibility, XR optics enables a greener impact on the environment by significantly reducing power consumption and the number of devices and platforms that will eventually end up as e-waste in landfills. Recently, the green impact of XR optics was recognized by the industry when Infinera XR optics technology won the Deutsche Telecom award in Category 1 “Contribution to Reduce DT Energy Consumption.”

If you are in the U.S. and not already planning to fly to Switzerland to visit ECOC, then never fear. The Infinera team is conducting another live XR optics demo at our booth at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo during the same week. Stop by the booth and see the team and the demo there as well.

ECOC 2022 will be an exciting event and a new milestone for the optical networking industry as cutting-edge innovations like XR optics become market realities. Make sure to pass the Infinera booth, #16, to see the future today.