OFC Notebook II

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The OFC/NFOEC fun continues...

  • Regarding our previous entry's Pirelli WDM-PON item: Pirelli SpA (Milan: PECI.MI) has introduced a CWDM-PON product, as opposed to the DWDM most others talk about, and it was launched at C5 World Forum, not OFC/NFOEC. It's meant for "fiber-to-the-cabinet," which then uses DSL to connect from the cabinet to 300 or 400 users, says Pirelli senior VP Pierluigi Franco. The extra wavelengths in CWDM would pack the bandwidth to serve that many users.

  • Fun with modulation schemes: First there was differential phase-shift keying (DPSK) and a "quadrature" variation (DQPSK). Now, Mintera Corp. is pushing partial you-know-what (PDPSK) for 40 Gbit/s. "There are more letters at 100-Gig. I can tell you that already," says Niall Robinson, Mintera's vice president of product marketing. Can't wait.

  • Getting back to WDM-PON: It's apparently on people's minds, because it keeps coming up in conversation here. Then, you've got Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) execs mentioning it as a possibility for future fiber-to-the-home upgrades. (Just one possibility among a few, they're saying, but it's helping the buzz.)

    Still, the WDM-PON vendor pool isn't overflowing yet. Novera Optics Inc. is still plugging away, while Ignis Photonyx AS and LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) continue developing WDM-PON together.

  • From the 100-Gbit/s Ethernet file, CoreOptics Inc. and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) showed 111-Gbit/s transmission (100 Gbit/s plus standard forward error correction for Ethernet) across a 2,400km span, the important part being that big distance figure. The signal consisted of four channels of 27.75 Gbit/s apiece. (See CoreOptics Demos 100G.)

    It's just a demo, and not even one that was at OFC/NFOEC; the companies were at the show saying they'd done this in a Munich lab. "We're still a few years out from making this a full-blown product, but it shows 100-Gbit/s is viable," says Saeid Aramideh, CoreOptics vice president of marketing.

  • Short reach isn't good enough for Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), which is proposing a new standard for Data Center Reach. It's a reaction to "the problems of a short-reach standard that was developed before it was understood what the capabilities of VCSELs were going to be," says Gary Wiseman, general manager of the company's optical efforts.

  • The life span of 10-Gbit/s continues getting stretched. Among this week's OpVista Inc. announcements was WaveWeaver, a means of putting a second group of 10-Gbit/s DWDM wavelengths in between the wavelengths you're already using -- the trick, of course, being to prevent the lambdas from bleeding into one another. This helps carriers pack more bandwidth onto a network ring without having to upgrade to 40 Gbit/s.

    But to keep the 40-Gig lobby happy, OpVista also notes its AnyWave technology includes the ability to put 40-Gbit/s signals onto a 10-Gbit/s ring without having to worry about dispersion compensation.

    — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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