Infinera's latest 800G test gets carrier buy-in

Windstream cosigns on Infinera's latest ICE6 technology test, which sustained an 800G transmission from Phoenix to San Diego.

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief

June 17, 2020

2 Min Read
Infinera's latest 800G test gets carrier buy-in

Infinera's ICE6 technology won't be commercially available for another few months, but the vendor is proving its worth in field tests with carrier customers.

The latest example, announced Wednesday, is a successful 800Gbit/s transmission between over 730 kilometers across Windstream's long-haul network between San Diego and Phoenix. The companies said the signal was then looped back at 700 Gbit/s over 1,460 km.

The trial used Infinera's ICE6, the sixth version of its Infinite Capacity Engine. That's the company's fancy naming for a package that combines its photonic integrated circuit (PIC) with a 7-nanometer digital signal processor (DSP) into an optical transceiver.

In this instance, the ICE6, used in its Groove (GX) optical transport platform, was sending signals down SMF-28 fiber "with both signal rates achieving a performance level that met Windstream's production network deployment standards," according to the press release.

Art Nichols, Windstream's vice president of architecture and technology, told Light Reading that the route selected and the fiber type used is very typical of what is in Windstream's network elsewhere.

Nichols said the test wasn't a case of using optimal conditions or evenly-spaced network hops in a data center environment. There were some short spans and some "just shy of 130 kilometers," Nichols said. "These tests give us a chance to really look forward on how do we adopt this technology and what would it mean for the balance of our networks," he said.

The ICE6 system has been touted in earlier tests, focused on proving the technology's throughput capacity and longer transmission distances. Infinera's SVP of marketing, Rob Shore, said the point of these challenges is for Infinera to keep showing that it can "use fewer lasers, provide a lower cost per bit, use lower power per bit and send more information sent on each individual fiber."

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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