& cplSiteName &

JDSU's Ready for Gridless ROADMs

Craig Matsumoto
2/2/2012
50%
50%

JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) is sampling components for gridless reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs), officials said during Wednesday's earnings call.

It's a new line of Wavelength Selective Switch (WSS) called TrueFlex. The devices have just started sampling and should be ready for production shipments later this year, executives said.

JDSU already sells WSSs based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) Mirrors, but TrueFlex is built from liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS). The wavelength assignments on an LCoS WSS can be reassigned in software, making it a good option for flexible-grid ROADMs. Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) already has LCoS-based WSSs and had been touting flexible-grid capabilities since at least 2010.

JDSU says TrueFlex WSSs will be available in sizes of 1x9 and smaller for metro networks and in larger sizes for core networks.

Why this matters
TrueFlex is a bit of marketing catch-up for JDSU, as Finisar has really run with the idea.

Flexible-grid ROADMs could come in handy if, as many believe, 400Gbit/s and 1Tbit/s signals won't initially fit in a 50GHz space. Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) has a 1Tbit/s protoype that uses 200GHz of optical spectrum, for instance, and Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) has talked about similar experiments.

There's one catch: "The performance of the ROADMs that have the flexible capabilities are typically not as good as the MEMS-based ROADMs," says Andrew Schmitt, an analyst with Infonetics Research Inc.

Considering that a ROADM is likely to sit in a carrier network 10 years or more, that creates a trade-off -- is grid flexibility more important than performance? Schmitt says he's talked to one major equipment manufacturer that's not planning to use gridless ROADMs for at least a few years.

Then again, the need for gridlessness does appear to exist, and it's an area JDSU couldn't ignore. "I will say there are benefits to both approaches, and Finisar's got an excellent product," Schmitt says. "Finisar's done an excellent job marketing -- talking to carriers and getting the market to see this as a requirement."

For more
Catch up on the new generation of ROADMs.



— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:43:40 PM
re: JDSU's Ready for Gridless ROADMs


I asked JDSU if the LCoS was truly new, and they say they've had it in the wings for a while now.  It's just that the MEMS performance is better.


Via email from Sinclair Vass, senior director of business operations for the Commercial and Consumer Optical Products (CCOP) business unit at JDSU:


"We have had JDSU IP and capability in LCOS for a long time, but have preferred the technical performance of MEMs for current generation ROADM solutions. Our TrueFlex product portfolio is designed to support the network evolution to bit rates beyond 100Gb/sec, and for this generation we have chosen to leverage our own LCOS capability as well as partnerships with key component vendors."

redface
50%
50%
redface,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:43:40 PM
re: JDSU's Ready for Gridless ROADMs


Coadna is the third largest player in ROADM and went public in Taiwan recently.  I wonder if it has a technical solution for going gridless.  Looks like LCoS is the only way to go for gridless but Coadna's approach is based on liquid crystal cells which can assume only discrete states so not as flexible, based on my very limited knowledge of this field.    


As for other would be players such as Oclaro and Capella,  this field is going to be even more challenging.  

rhr
50%
50%
rhr,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:43:39 PM
re: JDSU's Ready for Gridless ROADMs
Redface, there is also Nistica with its DLP technology, that can support gridless too.
rhr
50%
50%
rhr,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:43:39 PM
re: JDSU's Ready for Gridless ROADMs
Is gridless needed or not? In a recent survey, Infonetics found that the market push was far ahead of what operators needed, and here there is a suggestion that WSS vendors have done well convincing equipment makers of the need for gridless. Yet talk to Verizon, they are adamant that gridless technology is needed and needed now.-á
If operators are about to start deploy 100Gbps+ network overlays and ROADMs will remain in place for at least a decade, then gridless sounds a must rather than clever marketing. Is that the takeaway?
redface
50%
50%
redface,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:43:38 PM
re: JDSU's Ready for Gridless ROADMs


RHR,


Thank you for pointing that out.  How is Nistica doing?  They have picked up two rounds of financing.  Any concrete progress in their business such as design wins?  

rhr
50%
50%
rhr,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:40 PM
re: JDSU's Ready for Gridless ROADMs
Redface, apologies for the slow response. I'm not up to speed on Nistica or their progress. I will let you know once I do.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Nokia Bell Labs & Verizon Stretch Fixed 5G to the Home
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/13/2017
Juniper's New Contrail VP Hails From Google
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 11/15/2017
Eurobites: Telefónica Reckons Plastic Is Fantastic for FTTH
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/15/2017
Animals with Phones
Why Cats Don't Run Tech Support Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives