10Gig PONs Take On the World

PON vendors believe 10Gigabit PON will become the universal access technology for residential and business subscribers worldwide

June 28, 2011

3 Min Read
10Gig PONs Take On the World

Passive optical networking (PON) vendors believe 10Gigabit PON will become the universal access technology for residential and business subscribers worldwide. What they cannot agree on is a single implementation. Gigabit PONs have already been deployed across the globe, with Gigabit PON (GPON) primarily in North America and Europe and Ethernet PON (EPON) in Asia. 10GEPON is set to replace EPON and XGPON is expected to replace GPON. PON can deliver much higher bandwidths than DSL and can support cable data services using Docsis 3.0. Both telco and cable service providers are looking to PON for a future-proof access network.

PON is now a well-proven technology. By sharing a single fiber-optic cable across multiple subscribers it delivers a cost-effective and scalable solution. The number of semiconductor components required at the subscriber connection (ONT/ONU) has been dramatically reduced with the continuing integration of control CPU, memory and voice over IP (VoIP) into the PON controller device. With the dramatic reduction in the cost of optical components for GPON, this has significantly reduced the cost of PON installations for carriers. The challenge for PON component vendors and equipment manufacturers is to match the dramatic cost reduction seen at 1 Gbit/s and 2.5 Gbit/s at 10 Gbit/s.

At this critical time, the latest issue of Heavy Reading Components Insider, "10G PON Components: Ready for Deployment," analyzes recent PON chip and optical module developments covering 10GEPON, XGPON, EPON, GPON and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) PON solutions. The report identifies the key requirements and highlights the advantages they hold for equipment manufacturers. It also reviews vendor strategies and surveys component features, performance and flexibility. The report covers almost 100 devices and profiles 11 chip vendors in this key market.

EPON supports 1Gbit/s downstream and upstream. Vendors with EPON optical transceiver modules include Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR), Oplink Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: OPLK) and Source Photonics Inc. NeoPhotonics Corp. (NYSE: NPTN) and OneChip Photonics Inc. have optical transceiver modules for point-to-point (P2P) EPON for business services. EPON controller devices are available from Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), Cortina Systems Inc. , Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS) and TranSwitch Corp. (Nasdaq: TXCC). Most optical line terminal (OLT) devices support for separate PON connections. ONU controller devices at the subscriber end integrate a GE system interface and several support up to four VoIP lines.

GPON supports 2.5 Gbit/s downstream and 1.25 Gbit/s upstream. GPON optical transceiver modules are available from Emcore Corp. (Nasdaq: EMKR), Finisar, Gigalight, NeoPhotonics, Oplink Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: OPLK) and Source Photonics. GPON controller devices are available from Broadlight, PMC-Sierra and Transwitch. Marvell has introduced an integrated ONU/ONT controller that supports both EPON and GPON at the subscriber end.

10GEPON extends EPON to 10 Gbit/s. There are two versions defined: 1) asynchronous with 10 Gbit/s downstream and 1 Gbit/s upstream and 2) synchronous with 10 Gbit/s downstream and upstream. Most 10GEPON controller devices will support both synchronous and asynchronous. Optical modules are available for synchronous and asynchronous; however, synchronous versions are significantly more expensive and will only used for business services initially. Broadcom, Cortina, Gigalight, NeoPhotonics, Qualcomm, PMC-Sierra and Source Photonics have announced components for 10GEPON.

XGPON extends GPON to 10 Gbit/s. Again there are two versions defined: 1) XGPON1 with 10 Gbit/s downstream and 2.5 Gbit/s upstream and 2) XGPON2 with 10Gbit/s downstream and upstream. XGPON1 is approximately two years behind 10GEPON; XGPON2 will be later again. Most GPON component vendors are working on XGPON1 solutions.

10GEPON and XGPON will be widely used at the central office (OLT) as carriers develop new PON networks and upgrade existing EPON and GPON networks. Many networks will only support asymmetric operation and very few non-business subscribers will upgrade their connection to support asymmetric operation. The cost of PON solutions will continue to fall and the bandwidth limitations of DSL and cable networks will force more carriers to deploy PON networks, driving the global growth of both GPON and 10GEPON.

— Simon Stanley, Analyst, Heavy Reading Components Insider

This report, 10G PON Components: Ready for Deployment, is available for $900. For more information, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/commchip.

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