OFC: JDSU & Superblade!

12:20 PM -- SAN DIEGO -- OFC/NFOEC -- The JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) AON Superblade in a nutshell: It combines the functions of multiple blades into one slot. It's got a very small wavelength-selective switch (WSS), an erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA), and optical channel monitors, and it fits in a single slot. JDSU has to have it shipping by year's end.

It's more than just a combination of capabilities -- it's "functional integration," which JDSU is describing as a big-picture design methodology that lets designers pack the blade more densely.

A new operating system for Superblade includes a software layer for making the blade's elements work with a customer's system more smoothly -- a chance for customization and for JDSU to share in the design of systems, in other words.

Other elements to be added to Superblades later include tunable filters and more amplifiers, as well as a lot more software features, said Jy Bhardwaj, JDSU's vice president of Agile Optical Networks.

It seems like a big deal. At the least, it frees up more slots in a system. David Gudmundson, JDSU's president of Optical Communications, suggested that Superblade could ultimately make people rethink how they define an optical node in general.

No time to say much more -- I've got to haul down to the Bob Metcalfe keynote and finally get the skinny on this Terabit Ethernet thing.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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