Light Reading
An element for adding and dropping wavelengths in a DWDM stream, making the optical network more automated and more flexible

Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM)

Craig Matsumoto
The Buzz Bin
Craig Matsumoto
8/30/2010
50%
50%

An all-optical switching element for adding wavelengths to (and dropping them from) a DWDM stream.

The ROADM provides a way to do this in the optical domain, without having to terminate the traffic. More significantly, ROADMs gave carriers a way to nail up these wavelengths by only making changes at the endpoints. Previously, adding a wavelength meant manually configuring every node the wavelength was going to pass through.

ROADMs have room for improvement. For example, the configuration at those endpoints still has to be done manually. But they've become an integral part of the optical network.

ROADMs are deployed as modules -- cards slotted into optical transport equipment. They've become elemental to packet-optical transport systems (P-OTS). (See Optical's Packet Magic.) Sam Lisle of Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. explains as much in this 2008 video.



Size
The heart of a ROADM is a Wavelength Selective Switch (WSS). WSSs are commonly available in sizes up to 1x9 -- capable of adding or dropping eight wavelengths. (The ninth is the "express lane" fiber that goes straight out of the ROADM, for traffic that doesn't need to be terminated at that node.)

The next large step could be a 1x23 WSS, which some companies began showing in 2010. (See ROADMs Get Sized Up and OFC/NFOEC: ROADM Roundup.)

This JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) custom video from early 2010 notes the size trends in ROADMs -- and the possibility of going colorless and directionless, which we'll outline next.



Colorless, directionless, contentionless, gridless
Vendors would like ROADMs to be more automated. As Glenn Wellbrock of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) put it in May 2010, an ideal feature would be a big "defrag" button that resets the network to its optimal state. (See Verizon: Give Us More Flexible ROADMs for 100G.)

Here's what they're asking for:

  • Colorless: Able to send any wavelength to any port, and to change these assignments automatically.

  • Directionless: Allowing output ports to send traffic in any direction.

  • Contentionless: Allowing one ROADM port to use a wavelength that got dropped by another port. This could be accomplished with an NxN switching element. Large all-optical switches, of sizes up to 768x768, could also play a role here. (See OFC/NFOEC 2009 Preview and Calient Gets Ambitious With Optical Switching.)

  • Gridless: Some carriers think they'll want ROADM to assign wavelengths off of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) grid. When Terabit Ethernet gets invented, for example, it might be easiest to let it occupy two ITU grid spaces, or 1.5, or some other arbitrary proportion. (See OFC/NFOEC: For ROADMs, Less Is More.)

Here's a 2010 video where Wellbrock goes over these issues.



The business
As of 2009, JDSU was the market leader in ROADM components, with Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) coming on strong as a competitor. (See Finisar Climbs ROADM Ranks.)

Recent acquisitions and partnerships related to ROADMs:

Finisar CEO Jerry Rawls explains the Nistica deal at the end of this video, from OFC/NFOEC 2008.



(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
^Eagle^
50%
50%
^Eagle^,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:26 PM
re: Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM)


Hello,


Just read a portion of your story of new products at OFC.  When reading the ROADM portion, I did not see any "new" news.  Only old news.  ather it was a summary of actions in the ROADM space and stories in 2009 / 2010.  I mistakenly assumed this story was to have new content and to be about new announcements at OFC 2011.


sailboat

LEO_YOUNG
50%
50%
LEO_YOUNG,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:06:01 PM
re: Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM)


Too too old news!

Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV – Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business – Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Hot Topics
Is Windstream Boldly Setting a New Trend?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/29/2014
Pics From Comic-Con -- Honest!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/30/2014
If Not Muni Networks, Then What?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/28/2014
Verizon Applies 3G Throttling Policy to LTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/25/2014
Sprint, T-Mobile: The Price War's On
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/30/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed