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18 June 2008


Ixia, Avago and Infinera demo first 100GbE traffic generation and interface

At this week’s NXTcomm08 event in Las Vegas, NV, USA, Infinera, Avago Technologies and Ixia are collaborating on live demonstrations to send 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) traffic over a long-haul network. The partners believe that the demonstrations of 100GbE capability mark significant progress towards making 100GbE products and services a commercial reality in the near future.

Ixia is demonstrating an initial implementation of 100GbE line-rate traffic generation and analysis, with traffic handed off to a 100GbE interface on the Infinera DTN DWDM transport system, the 100GbE signal switched and transported through a long-haul DWDM network to Los Angeles, then looped and transported back, before performance metrics are reported from the Ixia XM2 chassis.

The firms say that the growth of converged voice, video and data network services and rapid advances in computer technology and network architecture are causing bandwidth bottlenecks, convincing network operators and large Internet service providers to boost data speeds significantly: 100GbE for aggregation and core networking applications, and 40GbE for server and storage applications.

Ixia’s proof-of-concept demonstration includes the first implementation of the multi-lane distribution (MLD) protocol architecture, the new 100GbE physical coding sublayer (PCS) approved as the baseline proposal just last month by the IEEE 802.3ba task force. MLD bonds multiple physical lanes into a single, logical 100GbE link. Currently, the highest line rate commonly available for Ethernet is 10GbE. Ixia and Infinera have been working with the 802.3ba task force from its inception and say that they are committed to supporting efforts to reach an industry-wide standard.

“Ixia is on the forefront of rolling out pre-standard and standards-based technologies, by working side-by side with industry leaders in the early stages of working draft standards,” says Ixia’s president and CEO Atul Bhatnagar. “Ixia believes that its active participation in the IEEE standardization effort and its dedication to providing test equipment that paces the standardization effort will help to foster the development of 100GbE network products. A full family of compatible, tested products will serve to ensure the acceptance of this important technology.”

Avago is demonstrating prototype 100GBASE-SR10 optical modules consisting of a 10-channel optical transmitter and receiver pair, capable of transmitting data at rates in excess of 10Gb/s per channel (yielding more than 100Gb/s of aggregate bandwidth). 100GBASE-SR10, the new parallel physical media dependent (PMD) sublayer for 100GbE short-reach links based on OM3 multimode fiber, was also approved last month as a baseline proposal by the IEEE 802.3ba task force.

“Leveraging our extensive parallel optics expertise and strong vertical integration, Avago can push the limits of high-speed networking technology, such as 100GbE, and keep costs controlled because we use our own VCSEL and IC technology,” says Sharon Hall, product marketing manager for Avago’s fiber-optic products division. “Avago continues to be highly active in the industry, with a leadership role in driving the technical standards for 100Gb/s short-reach products,” she adds.

Infinera’s 100GbE Tributary Adapter Module (TAM) interface for its DTN takes the 100GbE signal and puts it onto the transport network using the firm’s Digital Virtual Concatenation (DVC) protocol to send it across ten optical wavelengths at 10Gb/s each. The TAM module fits inside an Infinera Digital Line Module (DLM), using only a single pair of photonic integrated circuits to transport the 100GbE signal. With Infinera’s new ILS2 system (which is due to begin shipping this summer) up to sixteen 100Gb/s DLMs can be multiplexed onto a single fiber, allowing the transport of 1.6Tb/s of information, with future scalability rising to 8Tb/s of capacity. Infinera’s Bandwidth Virtualization enables these services to be carried over current optical infrastructures with little or no optical reengineering required.

“The technology developments from Infinera, Avago and Ixia mark very significant steps towards making 100GbE services a reality,” claims Infinera’s VP of systems engineering, Andy Moorwood. “The flexibility of Infinera’s Bandwidth Virtualization, based on our highly scalable photonic integration platforms, makes Infinera the best-positioned optical systems developer to bring 100GbE services to market.”

White papers with an overview of 100GbE technology and PCS/MLD operation are available at the web-site below.

See related items:

Infinera introduces passive PICs in new optical line system

Avago claims first RF CSP solution and world’s smallest RF amplifier

Infinera targets PIC capacity of 4Tb/s within 10 years

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