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Infinera Declares WDM War

It's here. After three years of secrecy, hype, and rumors, Infinera Inc. is pulling back the curtain today (see Infinera Claims Breakthroughs).

Will the startup change the world? Probably not. But its long-haul WDM system, starting its first carrier trials in the third quarter of this year, just might uproot the current thinking surrounding optical networks.

Infinera's system, called the DTN, can do both Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) and add/drop multiplexing (ADM). The radical part is that Infinera does this by forcing every wavelength through an optical-electrical-optical (OEO) conversion.

That's a break from mainstream WDM thinking, where OEO is considered cumbersome. "The fundamental assumption of this industry for the last seven years has been that OEO was expensive," says Infinera CEO Jagdeep Singh. "The whole industry has been organized around trying to get rid of OEO."

To cheapen OEO -- in a good way -- Infinera designed two densely packed indium phosphide (InP) chips, one for transmission and one for receiving. Each crams 10 channels of 10-Gbit/s OEO processing into a space less than 5 mm2 -- in the case of the transmitting chip, that's 10 lasers, 10 modulators, waveguides, and an optical multiplexer.

The integration saves money by throwing out the packaging of each element. A laser chip, for example, costs $20 to $50. But the packaging and assembly to complete a discrete laser can raise the price to $1,000, Singh says.

"The reason OEO is expensive is that you have lots of discrete components, each one of which has a significant packaging cost," says Singh. "If you take all those elements and integrate them onto a single monolithic piece of indium phosphide, it dramatically reduces the cost."

Wielding these chips on its linecards, the DTN can pack 40 channels of 10-Gbit/s traffic into a half-rack chassis, Infinera officials say. That means 80 channels per rack. By contrast, the basic version of the CoreStream Agility from Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) takes two racks to handle 80 channels (see Ciena Launches CoreStream Agility).

The compactness is nice, but why obsess about rescuing OEO? Because the alternative, purely optical transport, is a headache.

Digital electronic signals don't have to hit precise levels; all that matters is that the voltage is in the right ballpark for a "0" or a "1." Optical signals aren't like that. They're processed in analog form, meaning metrics such as the power level must be controlled to precision. And a wavelength that gets added or dropped at one node can affect power levels on channels throughout the network.

That means a WDM network has to be planned meticulously, and it takes torturous fine-tuning to install. Moreover, the network has to include components to control the light: dispersion compensators, gain-flattening filters, and the like. OEO avoids the tweaking and the extra components, making for a simpler network.

But what really makes the DTN interesting is one side effect of its OEO nature. Carriers using the DTN can change add/drop assignments at will, simply by swapping out linecards, without having to do the planning or tweaking associated with all-optical WDM. That could be Infinera's trump card, because it means DTN is not only cheap, but gives carriers a level of flexibility they've never had.

Life Underground
Infinera's mystique comes from keeping all this a secret for so long. The 200-employee company raised $150 million and a priceless amount of buzz since launching as Zepton in 2000. (See Infinera's Amp-less Ambition, Infinera Shoots for the Moon, and More on Infinera (née Zepton).)

Infinera has the credentials to make a change in WDM. Singh was formerly head of Lightera Networks, the startup whose acquisition turned Ciena into a WDM powerhouse. He's surrounded himself with bigwigs from the components world, such as Dave Welch, the CTO of SDL Inc., which was sold to JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU); and Fred Kish, who headed the InP semiconductor efforts at Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A).

It's hard to fully predict the DTN's impact, because Infinera won't discuss prices, and no carrier has tested the system outside of Infinera's labs. But it doesn't take Columbo to figure out who stands to be hurt from all of this.

"Ciena's got to be afraid of it," says Scott Clavenna, chief analyst for Heavy Reading, Light Reading's paid research arm. "If [the DTN] works, the economics are so radical that it would be hard to come up with a reason why someone would buy a traditional WDM system."

That's trouble for anybody in the WDM camp, but it gets worse for Ciena. Because the DTN's chips include crossbars, the system can do wavelength switching, bringing it into partial overlap with Ciena's CoreDirector. CoreDirector does STS1 (51 Mbit/s) switching as well, but it's being used for wavelength switching about 70 percent of the time, Clavenna says, "so it sort of hits Ciena in two directions."

Certain components could be affected, too, because the DTN doesn't need dispersion compensators and similar devices. And its OEO nature means the signal can be regenerated at every node, which could spell trouble for amplifiers and ultra-long-haul equipment.

Singh downplays all these effects and lays no claim to usurping anyone. "It's not a battle of technologies. What we're doing is a new tool that, when coupled with the network that's already available, will allow carriers to build more cost-effective networks."

It should play in Peoria
In fact, the DTN will probably be used as an add-on at first, exploiting its ability to make add/drop decisions easy. That's going to make it useful for delivering services to second-tier cities, the kind that weren't otherwise economical for traditional WDM drops, Infinera officials say. Carriers can use a DTN to drop just one wavelength to a place like Albuquerque, adding more if demand for services grows.

Those kinds of incremental changes might be Infinera's best business for a while. The company's product arrives at a time when long-haul sales are relatively slow and not likely to explode. Moreover, long-haul isn't price elastic; a carrier won't stock up on WDM nodes just because someone holds a Memorial Day sale.

Then there's the question of competition. Singh might be correct in claiming no one else has achieved Infinera's level of chip integration, but some companies are trying. Clavenna says he's heard of projects put on hold during the recession that are thawing now.

"There's a lot of work that's been going on, integration that is sort of lying fallow for some catalyst to get it going. This could be that catalyst," Clavenna says.

Companies would be hard-pressed to match Infinera's achievement, particularly since InP is a difficult material to work with. But if Infinera is that radical, then a close alternative should be enough to nibble away some market share at the low end.

"I've heard there are some other [attempts] out there to build integrated circuits as cheap and as functional. Maybe not quite as compact. So you could still build a system that has hundreds of Gbit/s of capacity," Clavenna says.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

opto 12/5/2012 | 1:35:15 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Maybe everyone is missing the point. Maybe the real market is not LH, or even any kind of switched ring network for metro. Maybe they are targeting big fat dumb point to point fiber links.

Maybe they are going after Cisco's approach - lots of big do-everything routers patched together with a bunch of dumb fiber links. As the router bandwidth goes up, they need to make those fiber links bigger. Enter Infinera - they make a cheap way to add a bunch of lambdas to a point to point dumb fiber link. Cisco feels all network intelligence should reside in the router, so big fat dumb point to point fiber links between their routers is good. This is their approach with Comcast, et al, on the VoD metro networks they are trying to build. They even want to push video bound for one node through all the routers between it and the source. Not very smart, but it sure sells a lot of 7600's!!!

This theory is certainly unappetizing from an engineer's perspective, but if a company makes Cisco happy, they do tend to buy a lot of stuff...
JoeBagadonuts 12/5/2012 | 1:49:38 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War And he's been pretty consistantly incorrect an most of the market trends that he's commented on the past few years. I did a search and looked back his columns and analyses and found a lot of wishfull thinking on his part.

However, I don't think that would "qualify" him for working at RHK......

;-)
stephenpcooke 12/5/2012 | 1:49:40 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War This was posted on the other Infinera thread:

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...

I think that the 'research' arm of the LR company is purely market research (ie: surveys, etc.). They really shouldn't quote someone like this regarding technical matters.
VFR 12/5/2012 | 1:49:44 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Have you seen what the Chief Analyst at Heavy Reading said??? This was part of larger statement about Infinera....

It's scary to think that it is people like this guy that have the ear of the people that make decisions affecting us all.

"It comes as a surprise to many people that much of the existing optical network is analog," said Scott Clavenna, Chief Analyst at Heavy Reading. "After all, every other network that carriers run has transitioned from analog to digital: the voice network in the 1960s, the mobile wireless networks more recently, and even video delivery networks. How ironic that these digital services are transported by an optical layer where waves, not bits, are manipulated by amplifiers, filters, dispersion compensators, and in some cases, mirrors. Performing key functions digitally, rather than with analog optics, makes perfect sense."
mdwdm 12/5/2012 | 1:49:49 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War What a waste of talents! Anyone capable of
all these things should make gold instead of
trying to steal.

----------

After doing protocol engineering, passive fiber optics and gfp/sonet mapper using sophisticated software, infinera founders are driving new innovation in optical communication using new packaging techniques and active opto-electronics.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:49:51 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Should have said: De'ja' Vu.

Those bunny suits on the website and sound bites like "optical Moores law", and "shatter many of the theoretical limits regarding the behavior of light in optical communications networks" and other such hyperbole.

Thanks, Hoffman agency. Best comic relief in a long time. ROTFLMAO.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:50:05 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War
Newer packaging techniques and active opto-electronics have come of its age now to drive moore's law of Fiber Optics.

Well Done Infinera and Best of Luck Jagdeep!!


Newer packaging techniques and active opto-electronics are like wives - you never know which way they will turn!!!

:-)

-Why
photonicGuru 12/5/2012 | 1:50:10 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War After doing protocol engineering, passive fiber optics and gfp/sonet mapper using sophisticated software, infinera founders are driving new innovation in optical communication using new packaging techniques and active opto-electronics.

Newer packaging techniques and active opto-electronics have come of its age now to drive moore's law of Fiber Optics.

Well Done Infinera and Best of Luck Jagdeep!!

Cheers.

stephenpcooke 12/5/2012 | 1:50:53 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War USA wrote:

My guess is that they can't have more than 6 or 8 ADMs on a ring due to jitter accumulation.

You can have 15 ADMs on a SONET ring. SONET has pointer processors that remove most of the payload jitter. The key is that they are NOT through-timed. They are either line-timed (the timing is recovered from the incoming line and is fed as a reference to a high-accuracy oscillator with a very low bandpass filter on the input reference), or externally timed from a separate timing reference.

Jitter accumulation does occur on long strings of regens which are through-timed.
stephenpcooke 12/5/2012 | 1:50:53 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Yup, you're right. His comment was about network configuration, your's is about link engineering.
USA 12/5/2012 | 1:50:54 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War stephencooke said:
Regarding the timing aspects of 3R, most regens are through-timed meaning that they transmit with the recovered clock from the adjacent receiver with no smoothing at all. In fact the SONET Jitter Transfer specification applies almost exclusively to regens as there are virtually no through-timed ADMs.

I think what is missing is that with CDRs, you end up with jitter. My guess is that they can't have more than 6 or 8 ADMs on a ring due to jitter accumulation.
fiber_r_us 12/5/2012 | 1:50:55 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War >Lovey's husband, you are right about
>point-to-point links between 3R's

But, without knowing the link margin and dispersion tolerance, you have no idea how long the point-to-point link can be.
stephenpcooke 12/5/2012 | 1:50:56 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War your assumption is they have to use the same timing source for all channels. I agree with you that a 160 lambda system all synched off the same clock is pretty useless. That said I will assume the folks at Infinera understand this and as such allow for a discreet timing source for each channel.

Actually, SONET stands for Synchronous Optical NETwork (ie: the whole point is to have everyone synched off the same clock source with backups, etc. to reduce jitter). That said you always recover clock from the incoming signal and use pointer processing to align the payload data to your network clock. There is nothing in the article that suggests, however, that all sources have to be synchronous at all. This actually makes things far more difficult for the isolation between data paths, especially at 10G rates.

Assuming that they have the cross-talk under control for all phase relationships then there is still the network design consideration of the fiber plant and any potential wavelength cross-connection outside of Infinera's system.

Lovey's husband, you are right about point-to-point links between 3R's.
ThurstonHowell3rd 12/5/2012 | 1:50:57 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Hey what's wrong with Pineapple... and leave Lovey out of this ...

Seriously - I follow the yield issue with the chipset - again I am assuming they can scale it. That said at the end of the day what millions of customer configurations are you speaking of? Its all ITU gridded - and the last time I checked you get a point to point between 3R's and that's about it...
ThurstonHowell3rd 12/5/2012 | 1:50:57 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War your assumption is they have to use the same timing source for all channels. I agree with you that a 160 lambda system all synched off the same clock is pretty useless. That said I will assume the folks at Infinera understand this and as such allow for a discreet timing source for each channel.

If my assumption is correct then the timing issue goes away and we're back to an optical network w/o any need for PhD's...
stephenpcooke 12/5/2012 | 1:50:58 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War fiber_r_us writes:

What kind of optical margin and dispersion tolerance can the product deal with? Since any deployment would have to deal with existing fiber plants, it is difficult to see how a device that only integrates laser/mod/rx and optical mux/de-mux could support many of the existing fiber plants.

I think that everyone is missing the market for these things. As quoted above and in other posts you still have EXISTING fiber plant effects to deal with. Also, OC-192 is generally not loss-limited but dispersion (generally PMD)-limited especially over older fiber plant. It sounds like a much better switch fabric interface (ie: no LH and certainly no ULH) for higher density TDM or packet-based switches. In this application they would only be selling the chip, not the accompanying frame, etc.

10 wavelengths of 10 GB/s seems like a lot but for any dynamic applications it really isn't. The wavelengths probably have to be a certain 10, no others, due to its integrated nature. Each carrier has a different wavelength plan so the lack of flexibility on these devices may well be a significant hinderance.

Regarding the timing aspects of 3R, most regens are through-timed meaning that they transmit with the recovered clock from the adjacent receiver with no smoothing at all. In fact the SONET Jitter Transfer specification applies almost exclusively to regens as there are virtually no through-timed ADMs. As an optical ADM this might work but I just don't see the EDFA replacement angle.
strands555 12/5/2012 | 1:51:05 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War In addition to the points already made, the continuous cycles of Moore's Law effects only really apply to consumer markets, where consumers are making "I need it now" decisions devoid of cost recovery issues.

In telecom, the top of the food chain can withhold technology from the market for eons if they want, regardless of whether it is available. You won't find too many cases where a profit center (i.e. a for-profit business) can recover costs and then operate with a profit on 18 month replacement cycles. Only when consumers are doing the spending can such short cycles be perpetuated.
Half-Inch Stud 12/5/2012 | 1:51:15 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War InP is such a relatively small wafer.
EPI growth defect probablity/density so buggy.
InP on SI, or other host flat has got to be accomplished for Infantera to run.

I like their technical accomplishment, as claimed. I fear factors such as; per-chip cost, sole-source reliability of availability, and I ultimately fear the device degradation/aging with time, temperature/humidity, etc.

So I conclude, the capability has not yet been developed and demonstrated...only designed and fabricated.

HIS
Seenthelight 12/5/2012 | 1:51:17 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War With OEO on the chip, whether you are true to IETF or ITU, you will want to process the frames to achieve wavelength switching&restoration, seems tough on 5 mm2.
Add to this the limit on 10 wavelengths which indicates this would be just a switch-element needed to be coupled together with others to make up a useable switch-fabric.
You would still need transponders/line-cards, again tunable 10G lasers with long-haul performance can't be fitted on this chip until most of us have seen the light.
purna 12/5/2012 | 1:51:18 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War > CoreDirector does STS1 (51 Mbit/s) switching as well, but it's being used for wavelength switching about 70 percent of the time, Clavenna says, "so it sort of hits Ciena in two directions." <

Why would you need switching of wavelengths? For which services? This does definitely not correspond to my experience with carriers.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:51:26 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War "If they can truely do a 3R cheaply then its going to put a whole bunch of you "All Optical" "Ultra Long Haul" Engineers out of work. Meaning you won't need a PHD to build and run a network."

No, I guess it's smarter to build your stuff out of InP (at huge expense and low yield) to a few fixed guesses of the thousands, scratch that, millions of configurations the customers want. And make it an integrated piece, so it too has a near zero assembly yield.

And just to to get to the prototype stage requires all the PhDs the valley has left (not retired), and a shixpot full of Kleiner Perkins money.

And ya better listen to lovey when she tells ya to use your umbrella in the sun! It'll fry yer' brains out!

Arghh...methinks ye are gettin' a bit touched in yer old age there matey, so go an' fetch me a rum and pineapple cooler, and don't forget the umbrella!

And leave out the pineapple.

-Why
photon_dog 12/5/2012 | 1:51:28 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War It looks like this box is a huge improvement in density over existing discrete. Can anybody take a swag at how the power requirement scales compared to existing regenerators and EDFAs ?
PO 12/5/2012 | 1:51:29 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War [#20,ThurstonHowell3rd]: The last time I checked with 3R all my timing are resolved. With 3R I recover my S/N ration and eliminate drift (jitter).

It really all comes down to one question: whose clock are you using to regenerate the outgoing signals, and what happens when it's out of spec?

Which leads to the next questions: how do you now, and what do you do when a clock (even elsewhere in the network) is out of spec? How many timing domains are operating in the network? How do you avoid timing loops? How do you recognize when a timing loop has occured and how do you recover? How 'bout link failures?

A WDM network loses value if it's restricted to a multichannel SONET network with a single timing domain. I'm not saying this is what Infinera has, but they do have to be ready to address the timing issues with their customers and articulate what their gear is offering.

Before anyone can make a network simpler to run, they have to be able to convince their customers that they know what network they're building.
particle_man 12/5/2012 | 1:51:30 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Some good points are being made here. When I mentioned Moore's law, I was really stating it as a proxy for the advantages of integration and miniaturization that you get with silicon-type (yes I know it's LiN) processes. They make things cheaper.

And while ULH stuff is pretty stable, the cost and complexity comes when you decide to change something. So if we assume static large pipes then I wouldn't see any advantage in the OEO gear. However if you assume the signals change paths for some reason - add/drop, protection, grooming at the wavelength level - then at some point OEO stuff gets pretty compelling.

As for opex, I agree with one caveat. I have never seen a carrier weight it strongly as a buying criteria.
particle_man 12/5/2012 | 1:51:30 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War uh.. make that LiNb. I don't know ant Lithium - Nitrogen processes :-)
mdwdm 12/5/2012 | 1:51:31 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War "Therefore, there is no Moore's law in fiber optics."

That's right. The propaganda department has
forgot to check the EE102 basics with their designers.

There is nothing in OE or EO conversion
that is digital. There is no Moore's law in anthing that is analog. The audio
amplifiers' feature size is the same as
twenty years ago.

On the receiver side, all amps need to be low noise, and noise inversely scales with feature size in any process. You need bigger transistors to have lower noise.

On the transmitter side, the feature size is
determined by the modulating and bias current.
Not scalable at all.

For the modulator and laser cavity die, the
size is determined by optical wavelength.

Not to mention the need to minimize the crosstalk between the adjacent channels.








ThurstonHowell3rd 12/5/2012 | 1:51:31 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War HUH?
own_your_own_net 12/5/2012 | 1:51:33 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Optical based DWDM systems already exceeded Moore's law from a price/performance standpoint anyway... so, why would you want to downgrade to "just" achieving Moore's law...
own_your_own_net 12/5/2012 | 1:51:34 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War That was my point in the previous post... newer ULH systems already don't require PHDs to run them... there is no operational savings in what is being proposed compared to current ULH systems...

...and, there appears to be little capital savings...
redface 12/5/2012 | 1:51:35 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Several people have been saying that the Infinera chip follows Moore's law. It doesn't.

Moore's law states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every eighteen months. Unfortunately for fiber optics, there is a fundamental minimum feature size - the light wavelength. Waveguide sizes, bending radiuses etc have very little room for reduction. The modulators operating at 10 Gb/s have to be far apart in order not to interfere with each other. These kinds of dimensions can not be reduced easily. Therefore, there is no Moore's law in fiber optics.
ThurstonHowell3rd 12/5/2012 | 1:51:36 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War #11 PO wrote: "And the processing requirements and networking implications only get more complex if we start talking 3R. "

Please explain that logic. The last time I checked with 3R all my timing are resolved. With 3R I recover my S/N ration and eliminate drift (jitter).

If they can truely do a 3R cheaply then its going to put a whole bunch of you "All Optical" "Ultra Long Haul" Engineers out of work. Meaning you won't need a PHD to build and run a network.

Get the costs of operating these networks DOWN and they you'll see a turnaround...
own_your_own_net 12/5/2012 | 1:51:38 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War While the old Nortle and Ciena LH systems are truly a pain to operate, the newer ULH DWDM systems basically run themselves. There is little operational advantage to OEO'ing everything. And I don't see a signficant cost savings as EDFAs and DCMs are really cheap these days.
fiber_r_us 12/5/2012 | 1:51:40 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War What kind of optical margin and dispersion tolerance can the product deal with? Since any deployment would have to deal with existing fiber plants, it is difficult to see how a device that only integrates laser/mod/rx and optical mux/de-mux could support many of the existing fiber plants.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:51:40 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War "C'mon, guys, at least give them a chance to prove themselves before dismissing them. If they can truly link OEO costs to Moore's law, this could get interesting...."

Ask yourself: how much greenfield DWDM is being installed these days? And of that, how many customers are going to be willing to risk one dime on new technology...in this market? And of those, how many are going to be willing to risk one dime on a start-up with un-proven interoperability, no qualified products and no installed base, no matter who their investors are?

And consider that with all the money dumped into them, they would have to re-pave the world twice over to pay back their preferred investors, let alone the common.

Investor prayer: Please, don't let my money fly away!!!!
Employee prayer: Please, let the investors have great pain even considering walking away!!!!

-Why
dbostan 12/5/2012 | 1:51:42 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War From what I read and hear, this technology is real and is a BIG DEAL.
Times may not be 1999 or 2000, but a disruptive technology is a disruptive technology.
Congratulations to the team and good luck in the future.

P.S.
I have nothing to do with Infinera...
sevenbrooks 12/5/2012 | 1:51:42 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War
Well, its at least highly differentiated enough for people to run some numbers.

Then we will have to see where it fits in the grand scheme of market sizing. That will give us an idea of whether the idea was good enough to make a market or only good enough to be a bolt on product for an existing company or so small that its not worth maintaining.

seven
shaggy 12/5/2012 | 1:51:44 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War there have been good points raised on both side, re timing, bit sensitivity, flexibility, network design, but wouldn't everyone agree it's a step in the right direction?

Miniturization/consolidation of transponder componentry should ultimately lead to lower overall systems costs, provided the reliability and feature flexibility are in place.

If this news were released 3 years ago, it would have put the market in a frenzy. Now all we want to do is bash away with our post-bubble, jaded view on new innovations.

C'mon, guys, at least give them a chance to prove themselves before dismissing them. If they can truly link OEO costs to Moore's law, this could get interesting....



Sisyphus 12/5/2012 | 1:51:46 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War > .. Infinera smells a lot like ..

Persistence eventually pays off. To a certain degree, part of the gamble these days is that a lot of the stuff that was doomed for 3 years now -with things hopefully tuning around some- now stands a fighting chance. And Infinera has recruited some of the very best minds from the optical bubble (those that aren't retired, that is), and I trust them to know the market and requirements very well.

Anything optical to me still sounds like the Beanie Baby bubble [didn't the 2 coincide? an unexplained phenomenon!], but of course the insider experts may still make $ in either...
PO 12/5/2012 | 1:51:47 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War [#6,particle_man]:Doing regeneration at each node does radically simplify network design. It also allows you to optimize transponder costs which is a big deal. With Moore's law marching on, OEO continues to get cheaper. In the long run this is a good idea, however in the long run we'll all be dead.

Maybe I won't run so far, then. :)

I disagree. Regeneration may in theory make life a bit simpler for a network planner, but you know the difference between theory and practice? In theory there is no difference.

Regeneration at each node increases operating costs and slows deployment: each node must now be bit-rate aware for new services, even if we're only talking about 2R. That means having to deal with timing issues across the network and among the channels.

And the processing requirements and networking implications only get more complex if we start talking 3R.

The cost of the piece-parts doesn't even begin to enter the question.
opticalfuneral 12/5/2012 | 1:51:47 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Infinera smells a lot like Innovance and Ceyba. No matter how good your contraption is the WDM market is just the wrong place to spend your R&D dollars.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:51:50 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Mega-PHY is dead, long live (cheap as shix) IP on (also cheap as shix) MM fiber.

-Why
AutoDog 12/5/2012 | 1:51:54 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Is it just me, or does this sound like Calient all over again?

Let's recap the Calient story:

The Plan
--------
- Super funded startup with a pile of cash & buzz
- Core technology (MEMS all-optical switching) was going to change the world
- Build a huge system around core technology to sell to carriers
- Went it alone (no big OEM partners)

The Result
----------
- Burnt through almost all cash & credibility
- Laid off all but skeleton crew
- Couldn't sell full system to carriers
- Had to scrap full system in favor of packaged bare-bones core technology
- Made some nice embroidered shirts & jackets


What makes Inifinera different? Why won't they follow Calient's delusions of grandeur?

And how nice are their shirts?
BlueWater66 12/5/2012 | 1:51:56 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Sounds like the buzz around the next Rock "Supergroup." The music is usually "okay" and the sound engineering great, but not a lot of inspiration and that sharp edge that drives real innovation.

With $150M a group can force a lot of functions into an InP chip. But, as we all know, there is alway a number of limitations. Cramming that much into a small chip really limits what can be done. If it isn't perfect, then there is a problem.

I'll have to find an old ASIA album...
rjs 12/5/2012 | 1:51:57 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Infinera and all the rest of component vendors
should not bother with the regulated Telecom
market and are better of focusing on the deregulated
markets like datacom. Telecom is basically dependent on the large incumberts for capex and
as such due to regulatory policies the telecom
market is not price elastic. The price and technological advantages are attenuated as there
are other factors which are political and organizational nature and which end up being the deciding factor.

As long as we have this problem with regulation there will be no price elasticity and all these debates are moots.


-rjs
particle_man 12/5/2012 | 1:51:57 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Doing regeneration at each node does radically simplify network design. It also allows you to optimize transponder costs which is a big deal. With Moore's law marching on, OEO continues to get cheaper. In the long run this is a good idea, however in the long run we'll all be dead.
Steeler 12/5/2012 | 1:51:58 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Staying in "stealth" for three years was not part of the plan for this company. This has turned into one of Kleiner's most frustrating telecom investments, especially after the VC firm's failed effort to sell it to Juniper.

The IRR on this investment is going to be atrocious, regardless of what 2000 era spin they try to put on this POS.
pig3head 12/5/2012 | 1:51:58 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War I think nothing but cisco's acquiring Infinera is the start point for the WDM war.

JoeBagadonuts 12/5/2012 | 1:51:59 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Let's see, the last few years have shown us that start-ups have little to no chance of buying gear from start-ups, especially ones with concepts invented back in 2000/2001. Yet, the LR employee quoted heavily in this story believes that if they can get the product to market that established companies should fear them. My message, Wake Up and check the date on your calendar pal.

The total cross-connect market is well under a billion dollars, Ciena is maybe doing $100 million per year in CD sales and they and Alcatel are the market leaders. Ciena thinks so much of this space that they are buying every company out there with a few buck in revenues in order to prop up their quarterly earnings. There is also maybe $500-600 million in WDM sales happening. Again, why do we need to get worked up about this?

I will say that Mr. Clavenna is right in saying that Integration needs something to spur the market but it won't be due to technological innovations but rather a need for telcos to spend money and we ain't there yet.
JoeBagadonuts 12/5/2012 | 1:51:59 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Correction, carriers have little to no chance of buying gear from start-ups....

Coffee buzz has run out, must find more....
truelight 12/5/2012 | 1:52:06 AM
re: Infinera Declares WDM War Reads boring and not that interesting. The price will be the telling point. If they are selling system's that cost 100K's base then there is no breakthrough here just a lot of over engineering.
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