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As one operator deploys 100Gbit/s, NEC trials a 1Tbit/s superchannel

Capacity Matters in APAC

Ray Le Maistre
1/17/2013
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For those interested in speeds and feeds, there are two new announcements of note from Asia/Pacific. The first is that NEC Corp. claims to have completed a successful, error-free 1Tbit/s superchannel transmission on a 5,400-kilometer subsea network using multiple 100Gbit/s Ethernet sub-carriers. The company has shared some of the technical details of how it performed the trial early Thursday morning in a release that, yes, puts the words "software" and "defined" next to each other:

  • It combined a "software-defined pulse shaper" (an "optoelectronic device that changes the shape of an optical pulse according to values predefined by the user") together with flexible-grid ("transponder capable of modifying the wavelength of the optical subcarrier") real-time 100Gbit/s subcarriers to create a 1Tbit/s superchannel over "commercially available optical fiber [using] cost-effective repeater spacing". The pulse shaper is "designed to mitigate transmission impairments and to offer flexible bandwidth allocation capabilities." NEC claims the technology used "provides a 43 percent improvement over the bandwidth utilization of current commercial systems."
  • NEC also set up a 1Tbit/s superchannel comprising "full digital" 100Gbit/s subcarriers ("generated with a digital transmitter and detected with a digital-coherent receiver"). NEC explains that "each subcarrier is equipped with a digital signal processor at the transmitter, which can potentially extend the re-configurability to a variable modulation format and/or for variable error-correction capabilities." This, according to the vendor, "enables the 1Tbit/s superchannel to successfully transmit beyond 7,200 km." Asia/Pacific appears to be the region for superchannel trials. (See Infinera Boasts 8Tbit/s Pipe.) Meanwhile, regional operator Pacnet has announced plans to add 100Gbit/s capabilities and OTN (Optical Transport Network) switching to its EAC-C2C subsea network, which lands in the major North-East Asia countries and traverses the Pacific to the U.S. The carrier has previously tested 500Gbit/s superchannels on its submarine network. (See Pacnet, Infinera Demo 500G Super-Channels.) — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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