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Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

It's a 100G play using its 500G PIC, it's (eventually) a packet-optical entry and it just might bring some buzz back to brash optical company

Craig Matsumoto

September 15, 2011

2 Min Read
Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G

Infinera is launching its DTN-X system Thursday, fortifying its position on multiple battle fronts including coherent 100Gbit/s transmission, packet-optical transport and Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching.

Key features include:

  • The 500Gbit/s photonic integrated circuit (PIC): The DTN-X is essentially the vehicle for this PIC, which produces one superchannel that contains five 100Gbit/s streams. Each 100Gbit/s stream further consists of four 25Gbit/s data feeds imprinted on one wavelength. This Infinera video from OFC/NFOEC explains.



  • OTN switching: Is now integrated into the switch fabric. Infinera's original DTN systems don't have that integration, giving them "limited" OTN capabilities, says Eve Griliches, an analyst with ACG Research .

  • MPLS: As mentioned in March, Infinera plans to add MPLS to the DTN-X, making it a contender as a core packet-optical transport system. Infinera isn't saying when this will happen, though.

  • Multichassis capability: Ten DTN-Xs (each of which fills a standard rack) can be linked up to behave as one virtual switch.



Separately, Infinera says cards with 40Gbit/s coherent detection are available for the original DTN system now. The company also says 40Gbit/s and 100Gbit/s Ethernet interfaces are now available for that system.

Why this matters
When Infinera scrapped its 40Gbit/s plans about 16 months ago, it bet its future on being able to deliver coherent 100Gbit/s support by 2012, in time to meet the mainstream market. Thursday's announcement is the clearest sign yet that the company will make that goal.

By getting to 100Gbit/s and showing competitive costs for the amount of bandwidth the DTN-X handles, Infinera might be able to finally attract more Tier 1 customers, probably as a second source to their established suppliers, Griliches says. In fact, Verizon Enterprise Solutions contributed a quote to Infinera's Thursday press release, a sign that Infinera might join Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) there as a 100Gbit/s transport supplier.

For more
Key Infinera items from the past year or so:

  • Infinera Readies the 100G Charge

  • OFC/NFOEC 2011: Infinera to Add ROADMs, MPLS

  • Infinera's Looking at a Tough 2011

  • Infinera Ditches 40G, Talks 100G

  • Infinera Puts 100G Coherent on Pause



— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Craig Matsumoto

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Yes, THAT Craig Matsumoto – who used to be at Light Reading from 2002 until 2013 and then went away and did other stuff and now HE'S BACK! As Editor-in-Chief. Go Craig!!

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