100G Ethernet

100G Watch: OFC/NFOEC Warmup

At OFC/NFOEC next week, 100-Gbit/s optics will become an even hotter topic than they've been in the past several months. Here's a look at where some of the discussion has been headed so far, from the service provider perspective.

  • When Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) starts deploying new fiber routes, they'll be built with 100-Gbit/s transmission in mind, Glenn Wellbrock tells analyst Roy Rubenstein on the Gazettabyte blog.

    Wellbrock, director of backbone network design, expects those build-outs to start by 2012, possibly earlier. But here's the catch: "100 Gbit/s" here implies coherent detection, which in turn means Verizon Business won't use any optically based dispersion compensation. Dispersion will be corrected using the receiver's electronics.

    That's likely to be the norm for long-haul 100-Gbit/s links, anyway. But it means that Verizon will insist on coherent detection for 40-Gbit/s traffic, too, on those new fiber routes.

  • No one expects the big customers to stop rallying for speeds beyond 100 Gbit/s. Donn Lee of Facebook has been doing so for months, going to various industry conferences to say his company needs 100-Gbit/s Ethernet already. Light Reading reported on his appearance at a seminar organized by The Ethernet Alliance , where his talk touched off a discussion about Terabit Ethernet. (See Facebook: Yes, We Need 100-GigE.)

    He reprised that talk in early February and brought up the topic again a few weeks ago, at the Ethernet Technology Summit in San Jose, Calif.

  • Along possibly similar lines, OFC/NFOEC's Service Provider Summit will be keynoted by Vijay Gill, senior manager of engineering and architecture at Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). The subject is "Building Very Large-Scale Computer Infrastructure," and it's ostensibly about the computers themselves -- although it's a good bet 100-Gbit/s Ethernet, or some bigger number, will get a mention.

    Other recent bits and pieces from the 100-Gbit/s world:

    — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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