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Optical/IP

Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials

Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) has confirmed that its all-optical switch –- the Optera Px, derived from its $3.25 billion acquisition of Xros earlier this year -- is now in trials with an unidentified carrier.

This means that at least three vendors –- Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), and Nortel –- now claim to have all-optical switches in trials.

Lucent appears to be the furthest ahead in some respects. It shipped its Wavestar LambdaRouter to Global Crossing Ltd. (Nasdaq: GBLX) at the end of July, and it’s been carrying live traffic in trials on Global Crossing’s transatlantic cable since September 22.

At that time, Lucent issued a press release saying that the LambdaRouter would be carrying commercial traffic by the end of this year –- in other words, around about now (see Lucent Switch in Transatlantic Test). At press time, however, we weren’t able to confirm whether this is happening on schedule.

Corvis shipped its first all-optical switch to Broadwing Communications (NYSE: BRW) in October (see Corvis Delivers All-Optical Switch ). However, it’s tough to ascertain whether it’s still undergoing lab trials or whether it’s started carrying live traffic (see Corvis: Time to Come Clean?).

Corvis’s switch probably comes closer to being genuinely all-optical than Lucent’s, because it forms part of an all-optical package that includes transmission equipment and net management software. Lucent’s LambdaRouter switches light without converting it into electronics, but it isn’t integrated with a transmission system. As a result, light probably has to undergo a conversion when it comes out of the LambdaRouter. In practice, however, carriers may want this anyhow, to help them manage their networks (see Optical Illusions).

Right now, not much is known about the trials of Nortel’s Xros switch. The vendor is hoping to keep its powder dry for a possible press release when and if the carrier agrees to publicity.

Xros made a big splash earlier this year by claiming that its switch could scale to 1,024 by 1,024 ports –- but has yet to prove that it can conquer the challenges of making such a large-scale switch work in practice (see Xros's OFC Splash Was All Wet).

-- Peter Heywood, international editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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stout4555 12/4/2012 | 7:15:50 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials explain your argument further.....

From Nortel's site:

Features & Benefits

Transparent Photonic Switching Platform

No OEOs in data path
Retains transparency, bit rate independence
3D MEMS beam steering
Single stage fully non-blocking
Wavelength transparent services

http://www.nortelnetworks.com/...
Xcited01 12/4/2012 | 7:15:51 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials The XROS (Nortel) switch is not an "Optical" Switch, it is an OEO switch. Corvis is the only company shipping and "All Optical" Switch. While I understand hype draws attention - and therefore - readers - it would be super if the Light Reading folks would be more accurate in their articles. OEO adds huge cost to the network. Until someone other than Corvis delivers an "Optical" Switch, no one will be able to deliver the same economics to the telecom customer. - Xcited01 -
manoflalambda 12/4/2012 | 9:01:17 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials No transponders in LR. Truely O-O-O with VERY careful management of loss at all points.

manoflalambda
etmmeva 12/4/2012 | 9:02:16 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials Hello,

Can you send me information re: Xanoptix photonic microprocessor technology?
[email protected]

Kind Regards,

Mehmet Varol
emayhugh 12/4/2012 | 9:02:22 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials Can you send me information re: Xanoptix photonic microprocessor technology?
[email protected]
emayhugh 12/4/2012 | 9:02:22 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials Please send me information regarding Xanoptix photonic microprocessor technology.
[email protected]
Peter Heywood 12/4/2012 | 9:02:36 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials I've yet to confirm this but a source within Siemens told me yesterday that it's now shipping an all-optical cross-connect based on OMM's 2D MEMS subsystems.

See: http://www.lightreading.com/do...

Peter Heywood 12/4/2012 | 9:02:36 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials Are you sure about the source of the LambdaRouter's tiny tilting mirrors?


Here's an excerpt of a story I wrote last April (full thing on: http://www.lightreading.com/do... )

QUOTE
Lucent Technologies http://www.lucent.com recently said it was abandoning another way of making MEMS - "surface micro-machining" - for its optical switch developments. This uses a silicon-and-metal oxide rather than a silicon-on-insulator sandwich. Its prone to quality control problems, and the mirrors can stick, according to Scott Blackstone, founder and CEO of BCO Technologies PLC http://www-bco-technologies.co..., a Belfast, Northern Ireland, manufacturer of silicon-on-insulator MEMS.

Lucent is rumored to be using BCO's technology for its LambdaRouter optical cross connect. BCO makes so-called thick film silicon-on-insulator MEMS. This means that the mirrors are on relatively thick pieces of silicon, which makes them particularly flat and stable, according to Blackstone.
ENDQUOTE

BCO has been acquired by Analog Devices last summer.


ManOLambda 12/4/2012 | 9:02:44 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials The statement: (using 3D MEMS being supplied by the Chronos divison of JDS Uniphase).s incorrect. the MEMS is actually being made at a Bell Labs facility.

ManOLambda
Photon 12/4/2012 | 9:02:44 PM
re: Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials Why would transponders solve a problem of insertion losses? What is probably really happening is that Lucent's lost quite a bit of footprint in the Long Haul that in quite of bit of its standardizations it has to surround its photonic switchs with transponders to condition signals to meet incumbant's grids.
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