Dutch Exchange Rolling Its Own 100G

The Amsterdam Internet Exchange is one of those users that always needs more speed now, and that also goes for distance too, in this case

Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

February 17, 2012

2 Min Read
Dutch Exchange Rolling Its Own 100G

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The Amsterdam Internet Exchange B.V. (AMS-IX) is designing its own 100Gbit/s module for metro reaches, because it can't wait even nine months for commercial modules to hit the market.

Modules for the 100GBase-ER standard, which covers spans of 40km, should be available by the end of the year, but AMS-IX needs something next quarter, says Martin Pels, an AMS-IX senior network engineer. Pels spoke Thursday on a panel at a Technology Exploration Forum, an ongoing series of events put on by The Ethernet Alliance for discussion of next-generation requirements.

As an Internet exchange, AMS-IX needs to move enormous amounts of traffic, making it an early adopter for technologies such as 100Gbit/s transport. (See AMS-IX Sticks With Brocade.)

And it's using a lot of 100Gbit/s links, relatively speaking. AMS-IX's plans for 2012 involve adding two switches to its network core (bringing it to a total of six) and, judging from a diagram Pels showed, at least a couple dozed 100Gbit/s links in various places around the network.

The AMS-IX kludge starts with a 100GBase-LR4 module -- a type that's commercially available but is only meant for 10km spans. In front of that will be added a discrete semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) or praseodymium-doped fiber amplifier (PDFA), which is awesome because we get to mention praseodymium for the first time ever on Light Reading.

For the latter case, AMS-IX would just buy a PDFA commercially; they're available in 1-rack-unit boxes, Pels tells Light Reading. The SOA is a custom chip that a vendor is developing for AMS-IX.

It's possible the AMS-IX module won't be used for very long -- but then again, it's possible the first ER4 modules will be expensive enough that AMS-IX will stick with its own module for a while longer, Pels says.

And who knows -- maybe other customers will want to try AMS-IX's module. That's kind of how the 10x10 multisource agreement for 100Gbit/s modules got started. (Not really, but kind of...)

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Craig Matsumoto

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Yes, THAT Craig Matsumoto – who used to be at Light Reading from 2002 until 2013 and then went away and did other stuff and now HE'S BACK! As Editor-in-Chief. Go Craig!!

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