NTT Picks Radical Compass-EOS Router

NTT Communications Corp. will be using the r10004, the router with optical guts that's being hawked by startup Compass-EOS.

It's Compass-EOS's first customer announcement, and it's being made Tuesday, just weeks after the startup announced its presence to the world. The routers will be used at the ends of connections that span the Pacific Ocean.

Compass-EOS is an Israeli startup targeting the core router space, which for the past decade has been the telecom equivalent of a lost cause. Compass-EOS's hopes ride on a novel switching chip that uses optics -- a matrix of VCSELs, specifically. That drastically shrinks the size and the power requirements of the router.

Why this matters
It's noteworthy that Compass, a new-age router play that's just arriving on the market, has a name-brand customer so quickly. The startup's chances of survival just went up considerably.

But look also at who the customer is. NTT has helped drive an OpenFlow craze throughout Japan for the past couple of years. The carrier clearly sees a chance to experiment with networking through the advent of software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV) and any other tools it can get its hands on.

NTT isn't alone; Deutsche Telekom AG, for one, has similar leanings and is helping spearhead the NFV effort. For equipment vendors, all this could make life a tiny bit less comfortable, or at least a little more interesting.

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— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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