Ekinops Pushes 40-Gig

Ekinops SA is moving into the 40 Gbit/s race with a wavelength-combining technology that sounds awfully familiar.

The technology, called Wave Bonding, is being announced Thursday for the Ekinops 360 platform.

The idea is to send four 10-Gbit/s wavelengths squeezed into a single ITU grid assignment. That means Ekinops gets 40 Gbit/s of throughput down what would have been a single wavelength's path, but because the signals themselves are just 10 Gbit/s, some high-speed concerns such as polarization mode dispersion don't come up.

Ekinops claims it can do this with 50 GHz spacing, which would give it leeway for 80 channels each running at 40 Gbit/s. That won't be available until the third quarter of 2009, though; Ekinops's first run, coming out in the first quarter, will use 100 GHz spacing for half as many channels.

In terms of distances, Ekinops claims it can send these signals 2,000 km, the result of the company's home-grown forward error correction technology known as DynaFEC.

OpVista Inc. 's Dense Multi-Carrier technology, first introduced in May, uses the same idea of packing multiple wavelengths into one ITU slot. (See OpVista Runs With DMC for 40-Gig.) But just because multiple companies thought of this idea doesn't mean it's easy.

"The innovation and intellectual property come from how you insert the wavelengths at the transmit end and how you interpret them, how you pick them apart at the receive end, because they do intermingle on their way down the fiber," says Michael Howard, principal analyst with Infonetics Research Inc.

Other companies, including Nortel Networks Ltd. , are likewise trying to send 40-Gbit/s signals down 10-Gbit/s infrastructure, but they're doing it by applying advanced modulation techniques. (See Nortel Rolls On With 40-Gig.)

Ekinops is basing its 40-Gbit/s technology in T-Chip, its technology that packs all the electronics of a WDM transponder onto one field-programmable gate array (FPGA). It's the same kind of chip that powers the Ekinops-360 platform.

So, the 40-Gbit/s technology is here. The market is another matter.

Ekinops's first line card will probably be a muxponder for combining four 10-Gbit/s feeds. "There are no real drivers out there for a serial 40-Gbit/s interface, other than Cisco pitching it for the CRS-1," says Rob Adams, Ekinops's vice president of marketing.

Ekinops would like to stick to a similar method for 100 Gbit/s transport, but "with this technology, we won't be able to stay at 10 Gbit/s per wave" because of the difficulty of packing 10 streams into one ITU grid slot. Moving up to 20 Gbit/s per wave might be a possibility, he says.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

boozon 12/5/2012 | 3:27:55 PM
re: Ekinops Pushes 40-Gig "So, the 40-Gbit/s technology is here. The market is another matter."

Is this technology likely to generate any significant market? As Rob Adams says that he first application of 40G is to carry 4x10G the main benefit of this technology must be the lower cost than four 10G transponders.

However, it looks like it has four 10G transmitters and receivers per card, plus some clever device to reduce the transmission penalties (DynaFEC for sure but maybe something else) and some filtering at the receiving end to separate the four 10G lambdas that constitute the 40G channel.

How can this be cheaper than x4 the cost of a 10G transponder?
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