AlcaLu Extends Its 100G

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is introducing a version of its 100Gbit/s coherent optical DWDM technology that goes 2,000km, compared with 1,500km for the original version.

The 100G XR card, as it's named, is being announced Tuesday for the 1830 Photonic Service Switch. The difference from the original card is in firmware tweaks, meaning AlcaLu's application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) -- the analog/digital converter and the digital signal procesor (DSP) that are at the heart of a coherent receiver -- didn't have to be changed, says Sam Bucci, head of AlcaLu's terrestrial optics business.

AlcaLu will continue to sell its regular 100Gbit/s card as well, because it's priced lower. (Bucci wouldn't say how much lower.)

Why this matters
AlcaLu had received a lot of credit for being first to market with a single-carrier 100Gbit/s card, as opposed to the dual-carrier technology developed by Nortel. But word had gotten around that the technology had limited reach.

That perception seems to come more from competitors than from carriers, says Sterling Perrin, analyst with Heavy Reading. "My sense is that Alcatel-Lucent kind of let that accusation ferment in the industry by not really combatting it," he says.

AlcaLu claims to have 1,200 100Gbit/s line cards deployed, so it's hard to say the company was handicapped by its 1,500km reach. Still, AlcaLu had to come up with a bigger number to keep up on the marketing front. In September, for instance, Nokia Networks announced a 100Gbit/s platform with a 2,500km repeaterless reach.

For more
A quick refresher on AlcaLu's single-carrier 100Gbit/s and related work:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Chhilar 12/5/2012 | 4:47:16 PM
re: AlcaLu Extends Its 100G

Are you sure this guy said "ferment"?  If he did, he probably meant foment.

foment: to instigate or foster (discord, rebellion, etc.); promote thegrowth or development of

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:47:15 PM
re: AlcaLu Extends Its 100G

You know, I did think about that .... but I remembered that at the instant Sterling said it, I was thinking "ferment" -- to sit around and get vinegary. (I guess the actual dictionary definition is more like "to agitate.") 

Either way, the idea is that AlcaLu let accusations about reach go unchecked for longer than they had to.

Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 4:47:14 PM
re: AlcaLu Extends Its 100G


You are correct - I did say "ferment." After some digging, I have learned that "ferment" and "foment" can be used interchangeably:


However, I intended the meaning in the "to get vinegary" sense in which you took it. Also, i was probably thinking about the Harpoon UFO I bought this week as you West Coasters always call so late in the day  ...


shygye75 12/5/2012 | 4:47:13 PM
re: AlcaLu Extends Its 100G

Like most analysts, Sterling is a world-class oenophile. So "ferment" works on several levels.

jhawk810 12/5/2012 | 4:47:12 PM
re: AlcaLu Extends Its 100G

Maybe should'a been "fester" or some other "f" word...

rhr 12/5/2012 | 4:46:57 PM
re: AlcaLu Extends Its 100G My understanding is that Sterling Perrin has a degree in English, a telecom analyst whose quotes I would not question in terms of accuracy of content.-á

On the issue of ALU, when they launched in 2010 they stated that the reach of their 100G system was 1,500-2,000km. Clearly it has taken a while but they have managed to fulfill the limit of that specification claim.
rhr 12/5/2012 | 4:46:41 PM
re: AlcaLu Extends Its 100G Ekinops, which recently launched a coherent 100G solution, says its 360 system can achieve a reach approaching 2000km when fully configured with 80 light paths, and over 2000km with 40 channels. It says that other vendors that quote a 2000km reach are referring to a single channel only. Ekinops says it-áachieves the 2000km reach using its own FEC.
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