Nortel Shows Single-Slice 100GE

The demos keep on coming, this time focusing on a single-wavelength test that arguably bests Ciena's

Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

December 18, 2008

2 Min Read
Nortel Shows Single-Slice 100GE

In a "take that" move, Nortel Networks Ltd. says it's the first to show a single-wavelength 100-Gbit/s transmission that, itself, came from a single 100-Gbit/s data feed.

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) showed off single-wavelength 100-Gbit/s Ethernet at the recent SC08 conference. But Ciena's demo started with 10 ports of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet, combined to form the 100-Gbit/s stream. (See Ciena Pushes 100-Gig.)

Nortel went a step further by using an Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) box to generate a serial 100-Gbit/s traffic stream, which was then put on one 112-Gbit/s wavelength. (See Nortel Shows Off 100GigE.) Nortel has posted a full demo, complete with the use of a hammer, on YouTube:


(Nortel will surely be excited to know that the top "related" video, at press time, was "Truck Dismount Getting sqished [sic] by a car.")

It's the latest in a series of 100-Gbit/s demos to emerge this year. (See 100-Gig Demo, Comcast Thinks Big, Marshal Launches Secure Email Server, and Verizon Adds Nortel to Its 100G Club.)

Ciena's is the more likely scenario for early 100-Gbit/s usage, since it uses available 10-Gbit/s ports. In that sense, Ciena's might have been the more practical demo of the two, but Nortel's sure sounds cool.

The company actually used two optical carriers inside its 112-Gbit/s wavelength, but the company insists that it's one wavelength -- or, at least, one ITU-grid assignment at 50 GHz spacing -- that's being used here.

"From a system perspective, it sees it as one wavelength, and it's managed as one wavelength. If you switch it, it gets switched as one wavelength," says Helen Xenos, part of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networking marketing team.

Nortel's test used dual polarization quadrature phase shift keying (DPQPSK) for its modulation, as the company's 40-Gbit/s efforts do, sending the 112-Gbit/s wavelength over 800 km of fiber. (See Nortel Rolls On With 40-Gig.) The feed from the Ixia box conformed to the 100-meter version of the in-progress IEEE 802.3ba standard being developed by the 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet Task Force.

That standard is expected to be ratified in June 2010, meaning that by late 2009 it'll probably be in good enough shape for companies to start announcing standards-ready products.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Craig Matsumoto

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Yes, THAT Craig Matsumoto – who used to be at Light Reading from 2002 until 2013 and then went away and did other stuff and now HE'S BACK! As Editor-in-Chief. Go Craig!!

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