Light Reading

Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto

Infinera is launching its DTN-X system Thursday, fortifying its position on multiple battle fronts including coherent 100Gbit/s transmission, packet-optical transport and Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching.

Key features include:

  • The 500Gbit/s photonic integrated circuit (PIC): The DTN-X is essentially the vehicle for this PIC, which produces one superchannel that contains five 100Gbit/s streams. Each 100Gbit/s stream further consists of four 25Gbit/s data feeds imprinted on one wavelength. This Infinera video from OFC/NFOEC explains.

  • OTN switching: Is now integrated into the switch fabric. Infinera's original DTN systems don't have that integration, giving them "limited" OTN capabilities, says Eve Griliches, an analyst with ACG Research .
  • MPLS: As mentioned in March, Infinera plans to add MPLS to the DTN-X, making it a contender as a core packet-optical transport system. Infinera isn't saying when this will happen, though.
  • Multichassis capability: Ten DTN-Xs (each of which fills a standard rack) can be linked up to behave as one virtual switch.

Separately, Infinera says cards with 40Gbit/s coherent detection are available for the original DTN system now. The company also says 40Gbit/s and 100Gbit/s Ethernet interfaces are now available for that system.

Why this matters
When Infinera scrapped its 40Gbit/s plans about 16 months ago, it bet its future on being able to deliver coherent 100Gbit/s support by 2012, in time to meet the mainstream market. Thursday's announcement is the clearest sign yet that the company will make that goal.

By getting to 100Gbit/s and showing competitive costs for the amount of bandwidth the DTN-X handles, Infinera might be able to finally attract more Tier 1 customers, probably as a second source to their established suppliers, Griliches says. In fact, Verizon Enterprise Solutions contributed a quote to Infinera's Thursday press release, a sign that Infinera might join Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) there as a 100Gbit/s transport supplier.

For more
Key Infinera items from the past year or so:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:53:39 PM
re: Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

so pretty

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:53:38 PM
re: Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

"DTN-X Availability

Infinera is introducing a full-rack, multi-bay-ready chassis and a half-rack chassis, both of which are planned for availability in the first half of 2012. The DTN-X is interoperable with the DTN platform and is planned to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE), 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40 GbE), 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100 GbE), 10 Gb/s SONET/SDH/OTN, 40 Gb/s SONET/SDH/OTN, 100 Gb/s OTN, 8/10 Gb/s Fibre Channel, and multiple bit rate clear-channel interfaces. "


I would have thought this paragraph would ahve been somewhere given that timing of availability has been a lot of the discussion around this.



User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:53:37 PM
re: Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

We've got coverage on that coming up. Tomorrow we're running a story about it and Craig is at Infinera's analyst day right now.

Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:53:36 PM
re: Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

Seven - you're right, i should have included that. i kind of referred to the timing but didn't spell it out.

The key about the timing is that they're meeting the (slightly accelerated) schedule they'd discussed earlier.

Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:53:36 PM
re: Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

Now, *that's* brash.  :)

User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:53:36 PM
re: Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

OH goody Phil... can't wait to read the epic crap Craig throws-up!!!



Brash? Adjective: Self-assertive in a rude, noisy, or overbearing way. That was the only adjective you could come up with for INFN. Really !!!


LightReading Staff:

Ignorant !!!:  Adjective: Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.


Hope you enjoyed the free food and refreshments. 

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:53:33 PM
re: Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

How many chips are in the module?  

TX? assuming 1 chip per 500Gig.. but it could be 2, one for lasers and one for modulation.... so how many chips per TX side?

RX, again, assuming one, but no clarity here.

Also, optical mux and demux chips.  

we all know IFN copackages chips in existing platforms.  yes, they have lots of functions integrated on a chip, but the exisiting platform is not truly monolithic, rather, a few very complex chips co-packaged.  Some on InP and some based on other mux demux tech.

How monolithic is this new module inside?  

Same basic architecture with higher speeds and more advanced coherent detection and modulation methods?  or did they also reduce the number of chips in the package by increasing the "monolithic" aspects?

My guess is the former as using InP for Mux demux is not a great solution as InP is lossy and using it for mux demux would take up valuable space.  And the epitaxy layers you would need were be very different than what is needed for the active devices.

So, inquiring minds want to know.

NOTE: still an impressive achievement even if not monolithic.  This kind of package is not easy.


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