OpVista Runs With DMC for 40-Gig
The new technology is Dense Multi-Carrier (DMC), which OpVista plans to showcase in a new system called the CX-8, the successor to the OpVista2000 optical transport box. OpVista is also going to offer its own 40-Gbit/s transponders to potential equipment-vendor partners.
Schemes for 40-Gbit/s transmission have been emerging for a few years now. Much of the talk focuses on multilevel modulation formats, which allow the transmission of more than one data bit per clock cycle. (See Mintera Challenges StrataLight in 40G Fight.)
OpVista's approach is a little different. DMC also uses a multilevel modem, but it adds the trick of multiple carriers of light -- that is, multiple wavelengths densely packed inside one ITU window.
OpVista claims the combination lets it send what are literally 10-Gbit/s signals that enable a data rate of 40 Gbit/s or, in future versions, 100 Gbit/s.
The major benefit to OpVista's approach is that it doesn't need any dispersion compensation. Plenty of companies are building 40-Gbit/s technologies that can run on 10-Gbit/s networks, but most of those methods have to manage dispersion in some way.
OpVista's DMC is different, the company claims, because it's indistinguishable at the optical layer from 10-Gbit/s transmissions.
OpVista does need wavelength stabilizers to keep those transmission carriers from drifting into each other. Even so, it's possible DMC could help bring down the cost of 40 Gbit/s.
"People are only using 40 Gbit/s where the alternative is to overbuild a segment with a whole new piece of gear," says Dana Cooperson, an analyst with Ovum RHK Inc. "This technology should help them build on a lot more spans, because it's cheaper."
(For a take on why service providers wouldn't want a separate 40-Gbit/s network, see Overlay Delay.)
The company is setting up DMC as an alternative to the 40-Gbit/s technologies pitched by Nortel Networks Ltd. , in particular, and by smaller competitors such as Mintera Corp. and StrataLight Communications .
Still, OpVista CEO Karl May isn't kidding himself about OpVista's chances in a head-to-head with such firms. That's why the company has developed a 40-Gbit/s transponder it can sell to big OEMs. "This is a way for them to take their technology and put it out there to a wider audience," says Ovum's Cooperson.
Some of those partnerships are already underway, says May.
Service providers "were the Yenta [matchmaker], if you will, to start these joint relationships to provide them with transponder solutions," says the CEO. "Those are for really, really major deals where a small company like ours is not going to be the one they want to go with."
OpVista is targeting metro networks, but May claims DMC is in trials with one equipment vendor for long-haul and ultra-long-haul spans.
As for its own system development, OpVista is already talking about the new DMC-based CX-8 platform, but is saving many of the details for a launch at NXTcomm in Las Vegas next month. Interfaces to be available for the CX-8 include 40-Gbit/s Ethernet (comprising four 10-Gbit/s Ethernet lanes) and OC768/STM-256, but it will also support slower speeds, including OC-48 and Gigabit Ethernet.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading