Cisco Makes Noise in 100G

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has completed a trial of coherent 100Gbit/s dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM), the first salvo out of an apparently rejuvenated optical division.

US Signal announced Thursday that it completed the trial using the Cisco ONS 15454 on a span from Kalamazoo, Mich., to Chicago, running on fiber originally intended for 10Gbit/s.

Cisco picked up coherent technology through the acquisition of CoreOptics last year.

Why this matters
Cisco is serious about optical again. The company is coming off of a year of market-share gains and is now affirming that it's going to use CoreOptics for more than router interfaces.

That could have interesting implications in an optical systems market where "Other" is still the dominant player. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. have market shares in the 20 percent range, but Cisco has suddenly made itself relevant in the next tier, as this chart from Infonetics Research Inc. shows.

For more
Here's some background on Cisco's optical ambitions -- and an oldie but goodie about how the company once considered exiting optical networking.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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furious_george 12/5/2012 | 4:48:19 PM
re: Cisco Makes Noise in 100G

"&nbsp;If so, they now have a $1B/year optical business. &nbsp;Hard to ignore that."

$1B / $43.2 B = 2.3% of revenue; using their most recent fiscal year

thehill 12/5/2012 | 4:48:19 PM
re: Cisco Makes Noise in 100G

Last time I checked, only ALU actually has shipped a single carrier 100G coherent. &nbsp;Ciena is 2x50G and Infinera is 10x10G. &nbsp;I think everyone else is in trial/marketing mode: Huawei, NSN, Fujitsu, ECI, and Infinera (500G).

Cisco bought CoreOptics a little over a year ago signalling that they are committed to Optical. &nbsp;I think they finally realized that they have an optical group and that as IP and Optical get faster and closer together that things like DSPs, ASICs, and DWDM are key to building the next network.

Time will tell if they can keep up the Q3 performance. &nbsp;If so, they now have a $1B/year optical business. &nbsp;Hard to ignore that.


Phil Morrison 12/5/2012 | 4:48:18 PM
re: Cisco Makes Noise in 100G

No one is ignoring Cisco's optical business. The rule of thumb at Cisco is that to be involved in a line of business (ie Optical) that it needs to amount to $1B of revenue within a couple of years. Granted this isn't always the case.

For me it's a question of on again off again focus. If you go back to 2006 you'll see a very interesting thread on the&nbsp; ONS 15454

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