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OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
3/16/2001

OptiMight Communications Inc., a startup founded by Wu-Fu Chen and physicist Ilya Fishman, is set to unveil the first offering in its three-product roster next week at OFC. Its product, the OMC 1600, an optical transport box for long-haul networks, purports to be able to send up to 1.6 terabits of data per second -- 160 channels at 10 gigabits per second -- over any type of fiber without using Raman amplification.

Raman amplifiers are used to strengthen optical signals so that service providers don't have to use as much expensive electrical regeneration equipment along network routes. OptiMight says its OMC 1600 can transmit signals up to 4,000 kilometers without needing signal regeneration or Raman amplification.

Networks using OptiMight's boxes will, however, need to use erbium doped fiber amps (EDFAs) every 80 to 100 kilometers and signal conditioners every 500 kilometers in between the transmission terminals at either end of the long-haul connection (see Optical Taxonomy and The Ultimate Backbone ).

The technology behind OptiMight, dubbed full-spectrum WDM, is a trick that alters optical signals in both the time and frequency domains. In the time domain, it uses the conventional WDM (wavelength-division multiplexing) technique of quickly encoding each OC192 (10 Gbit/s) data stream together onto the optical signal.

But OptiMight also applies additional frequency modulation to the signal so that each channel's spectral width is broader and can carry data farther. The result is that OptiMight is able to fill 30 GHz within each channel on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) WDM grid. Other WDM systems usually use 10 GHz of spectrum per channel.

Where this matters most is in network economics, says Clarel Thevenot, OptiMight’s director of marketing. "Our solution will save carriers the cost and maintenance associated with all the Raman amplifiers and extra regeneration stations that would otherwise be needed." (See OptiMight Reaches for Distance.)

"The goal is to allow carriers to use the same product platform when connecting Washington D.C. to Philadelphia as they'd need to connect Washington D.C. to Chicago," he says.

But skeptics point out that although OptiMight’s box may be used for both long- and ultra long-haul connections, it's walking into a market where Williams Communications Group (NYSE: WCG) and Broadwing Communications (NYSE: BRW) are using Raman-based networking technology from Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV); and Genuity Inc. (Nasdaq: GENU) is using Nortel's Raman-based long-haul gear. The implication: If Raman costs and maintenance were a disadvantage, carriers wouldn't be going ahead with such field trials and purchases (see Corvis Goes Coast to Coast).

More to the point: The market is getting more crowded by the day. Besides Corvis and Nortel, you'll find Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), PhotonEx Corp., Solinet Systems Inc., Solstis, and Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR) all angling for part of the long-haul market. Then there's the argument that, by not using Raman amplification, OptiMight is giving up bandwidth in order to compete on distance. "They seem to be painting themselves into a corner of being able to handle long, skinny traffic routes," says one equipment provider familiar with OptiMight's product.

OptiMight’s Thevenot counters that the overall throughput of OptiMight’s system is the same as anyone else's. "They'll say we can't pack as many channels because we're using a wider spectrum per band, but, from a total capacity standpoint, we're exactly the same," he says.

OptiMight’s technology also allows for bi-directional transmission over fiber, a characteristic that has arguable advantages. On the one hand, bi-directional transmission makes more efficient use of fiber that's already in the ground. On the other hand, early WDM efforts proved that when you have go- and return-traffic on the same fiber, the operational issues can be sticky because it becomes harder to pinpoint network problems.

Anyway, OptiMight can make an interesting case for cutting carriers' costs in a variety of ways. Its marketing materials say it can save carriers more than 60 percent over the equipment and operating costs of existing solutions. While that's probably an elastic fact, it is interesting that OptiMight’s box can be used with any kind of fiber.

In the end, the OMC 1600's success will depend on how it plays in the field. OptiMight says it's completed lab trials and is moving on to field trials with "two large IXCs." The company should be realizing revenues on those boxes by early next year.

OptiMight plans to have the OMC 3200, its OC768 (40 Gbit/s) transport box, ready for general availability by the third quarter of of 2002. That one will be followed by the 6.4-Tbit/s OMC 6400 box, expected in late 2003.

-- Phil Harvey, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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iprsvp
iprsvp
12/4/2012 | 8:43:02 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box
Is Optimight talking about optical CDMA.??
Any thoughts??
---

As it almost looks like they are talking about
optical CDMA.
"The technology behind OptiMight, dubbed full-spectrum WDM, is a trick that alters optical signals in both the time and frequency domains. In the time domain, it uses the conventional WDM (wavelength-division multiplexing) technique of quickly encoding each OC192 (10 Gbit/s) data stream together onto the optical signal.

But OptiMight also applies additional frequency modulation to the signal so that each channel's spectral width is broader and can carry data farther. The result is that OptiMight is able to fill 30 GHz within each channel on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) WDM grid. Other WDM systems usually use 10 GHz of spectrum per channel."
optical illusion
optical illusion
12/4/2012 | 8:43:01 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box
What type of q factors are you getting with a 160 channel deployment?
optical illusion
optical illusion
12/4/2012 | 8:43:01 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box

I'd also suspect you'd get non-linear effects assuming a DWDM deployment with 80 to 160 channels, assuming that's even possible.




optical illusion
optical illusion
12/4/2012 | 8:43:01 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box

Dunno, but I'd like to hear someone's take on running bi-directional traffic over a single strand. That's a no-no.

Also, why does Wu Fu Chen start a new company every nine months? Has he delivered a product (sorry, I am too lazy to search google).


iprsvp
iprsvp
12/4/2012 | 8:43:00 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box
Can you help me with this.

thanks
ubwdm
ubwdm
12/4/2012 | 8:42:57 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box
"Dunno, but I'd like to hear someone's take on running bi-directional traffic over a single strand. That's a no-no."

What's are you talking about? Nortel did it
before you heard word DWDM.



Titanic Optics
Titanic Optics
12/4/2012 | 8:42:56 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box
No, this is not at all OCDMA. OCDMA is a filter-coding of a single laser, mainly used in the Access market. The point of OCDMA to make more channels from a single laser. See Templex Technology and Codestream for two of the companies that do this, plus there is a whole speakers section at OFC.

FSWDM is a tweaking of the optics used in traditional WDM. There is a better, more descriptive article on Optimight's website. I can't vouch for whether the physics of this really works. I'll have to do some more thinking...
ubwdm
ubwdm
12/4/2012 | 8:42:55 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box
"it is interesting that OptiMightGÇÖs box can be used with any kind of fiber."

Qtera and Corvis's stuff work only on a single
type of fiber. Most of real world fibers are
mixed. Only a few new carriers, williams,
qwest, Broadwing, can use Qtera and Corvis solutions.


abarbier
abarbier
12/4/2012 | 8:42:54 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box
Any idea how they can achieve 160 10Gbps DWDM channels over any fiber i.e. DSF included?

thanks
Petabit
Petabit
12/4/2012 | 8:42:50 PM
re: OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box
Wow. Mr Harvey I think you need to check a few facts.

Optimight is not the first to do 160x10G. That crown belong to Lucent for a lab trial and Nortel for a working product. In fact NT has more than 100x 10G already lit and carrying traffic (on a single fibre). Optimight might well be the first to carry 160x10G over 4000km, but I'm sure that Corvis will have something to say about that.

Bidirectional transmission was the standard - until this year more than 90% of 10G traffic travelled on a bi-di link (since that is what Nortel sold). All of Nortle's products support bi-di transmission. I talked about this before on the NT message board.

It will not work on ANY fibre type. Let's try multimode, or plastic, or carbon fibre for instance. It will probably work on most of the transmission fibre types that are deployed. Just like Ciena, Fujitsu and Nortel.

The reason that your fibre types are more limited for ultra long haul, is down to the DCMs not the manufacturer of the equipment. Slope matched DCMs are very hard to find, Corning and Lucent can only supply compensators that match a fraction of the dispersion slope. So unless Optimight have some secret transmission fibre maker in their pocket (and that means new fibre builds), they have the same limits as everyone else. The same goes for 40G and above.

So lets cut the FUD, and enjoy OFC next week.

PS:

Q is a measure of the quality of the traffic being carried on the fibre. A high Q is a good quality signal with few bit errors. Q is tricky to measure in practice, and the measurement standards vary. It's value is that you can have a valid Q even when the bit error rate in unmeasureably small.
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