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Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch

Light Reading
OFC/NFOEC News Analysis
Light Reading
3/20/2002

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- OFC 2002 -- Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) and Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV) now have more in common than a founder and a close address. The two companies are also both using dynamic gain equalizer technology from Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) in their all-optical products.

Today, Corvis announced it is using the technology for its newly upgraded all-optical switch, the Corvis OS. And earlier this week, Ciena announced that it was also using the Corning Dynamic Spectral Equalizer in its new optical add/drop multiplexer (OADM) product (see Ciena Cleans Up OADM).

While the companies are using the same technology, which allows them to selectively block and pass-through different wavelengths, the applications are slightly different (see Dynamic Gain Equalizers Diversify). Ciena is using the technology to build an OADM device that adds and drops wavelengths off of an individual fiber. The OADM is designed to sit alongside a Ciena CoreDirector, an OEO switch that grooms traffic down to lower speeds by converting the optical signal into an electrical signal.

On the other hand, Corvis plans to use the technology to build a four-port optical switch. Instead of a single fiber coming into the device and a single fiber going out, Corvis has cascaded the Corning technology so that it handles four fibers coming into the device and four going out.

The Corning technology used in Corvis’s switch fabric is replacing a proprietary implementation that the company had developed itself. Corvis, which has kept a tight lid on exactly how its optical switch works, already has deployed several of its original switches in the Broadwing Inc. (NYSE: BRW) network.

For Corvis, the biggest benefit to using the Corning technology is the new form factor. Because the dynamic gain equalizing technique used doesn’t require channels to be de-multiplexed, switched, and then multiplexed back, as some other approaches do, fewer components are used. And fewer components means that the size and power consumption are reduced. While the previous implementation took up four full seven-foot telecom racks and consumed over 3,500 watts of power, the newer version will occupy one rack and consume only 700 watts.

The Corvis OS has other new features, as well. For one, it is now able to switch individual wavelengths along with bands of wavelengths, making it more granular in its switching capabilities. This should provide carriers with greater flexibility in designing their networks.

Secondly, it will have a redundant switch fabric so that upgrades -- like adding additional line cards or replacing the switch fabric -- can be done without any interruption to service.

While all these features sound great on paper, the reality is that there is essentially no market for all-optical switching right now. The current lack of interest from carriers is what prompted Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) to cancel its all-optical switch project. “All-optical switches are a niche application,” says Simon Leopold an analyst with Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. “It doesn’t mean that there isn’t a market for it. But it’s going to be tough if you see a lot of players getting in this space right now.”

Corvis seems to have come to grips with this reality. The company plans to offer customers a migration path to all-optical networking through its new OEO switching platform, the OCS. This new switch will go head to head with Ciena’s CoreDirector and products from other big players like Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) and Nortel.

“We’re offering customers choices,” says Bob Wohlford, senior vice president of marketing for Corvis. “The market for all-optical is small right now. But eventually carriers will migrate from point-to-point networking and electrical conversions to a fully optical mesh network.”

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com For more information on OFC 2002, please visit: www.nottheofc.com

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optical_guy
optical_guy
12/4/2012 | 10:45:59 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
Hey guys.....let's give a little thought to how we word these comparisons. What I am refering to is the section in the article that compared Ciena's and Corvis' different application/approach to using the Corning equalizer.

Specifically, you indicated that Ciena was using it as an OADM dropping to a Core Director while Corvis was building a multi-port switch. You might want to talk to Corvis again about the scalability of their design...like maybe its an "up to four ports (or some number) switch.....what is a degree two switch node....its an OADM!! I say degree two rather than port counts because it can get confusing. Let's just say a multi-port switch that supports bypass east-west and west-each on a single fiber pair and which can add and drop traffic locally is...an OADM. Add more pairs andits... a switch. Same element, just scaled larger.

Also, if both products can add/drop local traffic then they should both be able to drop into or out of an OEO switch as well as any other type of client system. What I am saying is that perhaps Ciena is limited to dropping into a CoreDirector from their OADM (although I cannot understand why this would be so) I don't see any reason why the Corvis switch can't likewise add/drop into an OCS.

See what I'm getting at...on closer examination some of the distinctions that the article makes about the two companies products have room to be questioned.

OG
Belzebutt
Belzebutt
12/4/2012 | 10:45:57 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
This is the OCS product that Corvis fans were pimping all this time???

While the previous implementation took up four full seven-foot telecom racks and consumed over 3,500 watts of power

And these same people bash Nortel for the size and power requirements of the HDX, which is 4 times smaller??? Bwaahahaha!!
aaaaaaptics
aaaaaaptics
12/4/2012 | 10:45:57 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
OG,

bare with me here, i'm no FO engineer....

does this article give us any insight to the lawsuit? why is CORV now switching their original tech? has it to do with suppliers dropping original design components?

lil help please.

i hate to think that huber's design is so close to CIEN. who's copying who here?
dave77777
dave77777
12/4/2012 | 10:45:56 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
Did you even read the article? That's the LH OS they were talking about, not the edge OCS.
iprsvp
iprsvp
12/4/2012 | 10:45:55 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
This article wrong about this comparison. Just because XROS switch wasn't integrated with ULH solution ! so they are totally different products and they are addressing different markets. LR you better get right!
optical_guy
optical_guy
12/4/2012 | 10:45:54 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
Uhhhhhhh....Belzebutt...read even a little closely. No, this is not the OCS which is an OEO switch. This is the core optical switch or OADM technology that they are talking about here.

And yes, the entire industry does seem to think that the HDX is worst in class for density and footprint...and power consumption....and heat dissipation....hee, hee, heee.

Can you say Bwaahahahah...backward?

OG
optical_guy
optical_guy
12/4/2012 | 10:45:54 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
aaaaaptics - no, it doesn't have anything to do with the suit. All the article says...at least all it says completely and accurately, is that both companies are using the same corning subassembly. Remember, almost everybody uses the same components and integrated subassemblies from which they build their network elements and hence system. Corv has always said that all of their tech is made from proven and telco qualified components...e.g. no bubble jet experimental stuff, etc. What ever the next smaller more efficient switch fabric to come out, everybody will use. When 3d MEMs prove in, everybody will use them also.

OG
Belzebutt
Belzebutt
12/4/2012 | 10:45:53 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
And yes, the entire industry does seem to think that the HDX is worst in class for density and footprint...and power consumption....and heat dissipation....hee, hee, heee

Not the entire industry, only the misinformed who can't read the specs.
manoflalambda
manoflalambda
12/4/2012 | 10:45:52 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
Not the entire industry, only the misinformed who can't read the specs

1500mm wide HDX shelves! 2 and 1/2 bays already. Belzebutt - how many Switch shelves and how many IO shelves in the basic configuration? If 2 of each, as the Nortel site pix show, then you have 5 bays wide! Pretty darn big if you ask me.

Salute,
Manoflalambda
Belzebutt
Belzebutt
12/4/2012 | 10:45:49 PM
re: Corvis Upgrades Optical Switch
"Not the entire industry, only the misinformed who can't read the specs"

Example:

1500mm wide HDX shelves! 2 and 1/2 bays already. Belzebutt - how many Switch shelves and how many IO shelves in the basic configuration? If 2 of each, as the Nortel site pix show, then you have 5 bays wide! Pretty darn big if you ask me.


Luckily the customers will be better informed than this.
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