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Glimmerglass Sizes Up Optical Switch

Claims to be offering the world's largest optical switch

March 7, 2005

3 Min Read

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Glimmerglass, a pioneer of fiber connection management, will introduce Glimmerglass Switch Shelf, the industry’s largest and most scalable, low-loss switching solution at OFC/NFOEC 2005 in Anaheim, CA (Laser2000 booth #1646). An industry first, the Switch Shelf delivers transparent, non-blocking switched connections for up to 1360 fibers, in a product the size of a microwave oven, with insertion losses of less than 2 dB. The Glimmerglass Switch Shelf is immediately available.

Glimmerglass Switch Shelf is an ideal solution for those seeking carrier-class optical switching in a reliable, compact and cost-effective design. Targeted at automating fiber management, it can be used to test, monitor, protect and provision very large numbers of optical fibers with a single control interface. Glimmerglass provides the industry’s only product capable of managing thousands of optical connections with low insertion losses, able to connect more than 25,000 fibers automatically.

Conventional fiber switching products are designed with closed-chassis configurations that limit the number of fibers they can manage and provide little or no growth modularity. To avoid these limitations, Glimmerglass has developed a fiber management architecture based on individual “switch packs” that support both symmetrical (NxN) and asymmetrical (NxM) configurations. As a result, a single Glimmerglass Switch Pack, about the size of small toaster, can manage hundreds of optical fibers to support a wide variety of applications. Similar in design to “blade servers” of the computing industry, four Switch Packs can fit into each Glimmerglass Switch Shelf and work together, via a common control interface. Customers can purchase Switch Packs individually and add them to Switch Shelves in the field to incrementally scale their fiber management capabilities over time.

Each Switch Shelf can provide non-blocking low-loss connectivity for more than 1300 fibers, even in configurations such as 1300x10. Packaged in an 8 RU chassis, it can be partitioned to act as dozens or even hundreds of smaller non-blocking switches controlled by one interface. For example, a single Switch Shelf can act as a consolidated fiber protection solution for more than 450 1x2 or 2x1 switches with an insertion loss of less than 2 dB. Alternatively, Switch Shelves can act as a fully non-blocking fiber cross-connect in sizes of 256x256, 320x320, 480x480, 512x512, 640x640 and beyond with an insertion loss of just 5 dB. Designed to manage large numbers of fibers, the starting configuration for a Glimmerglass Switch Shelf is 288 fibers. Like all Glimmerglass solutions, it transparently connects optical signals at bandwidths of at least 40 Gb/s between incoming and outgoing single mode fibers.

“We’re delighted to be introducing another industry first, the largest and most scalable low-loss fiber switching solution ever,” said Mark Housley, president and CEO of Glimmerglass. “Switch Shelf is a great compliment to our Fiber Connection Server products. We can now offer the industry’s most comprehensive range of fiber management solutions, ranging from 16x16 through 640x640 and beyond.”

Glimmerglass Networks

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