6 August 2010


OIF projects to shrink tunable laser assembly and ease control plane deployment

At their third quarter meeting, members of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) in Fremont, CA, USA started two new projects.

The first provides a specification for a micro integrable tunable laser assembly (μITLA). The OIF says that the new form factor for tunable lasers is needed as the industry moves to an XFP form factor with reduced power dissipation. The second project addresses OSS Control Plane Management. Both projects will provide equipment vendors and carriers with key tools for bringing products to market and deploying control plane technology, says the OIF.

At the meeting, Dana Cooperson, practice leader for Network Infrastructure at analyst firm Ovum, spoke to 115 OIF members about the key technology themes and challenges that factor into the evolution to the next-generation, converged packet-optical network. She cited the widely adopted ‘100G Framework’ as a “key example of how the OIF helps accelerate the technology adoption cycle”, adding that “the OIF will continue to play a critical role in increasing network and market efficiency”.

The new μITLA project will propose changes to the assembly electrical interfaces, optical specifications, and mechanical specifications. The μITLA implementation agreement (IA) will provide an alternative laser solution for ITLA customers contemplating the integration of a specific vendor 'gold box' laser on the host PCB due to space constraints. A greater than two-fold reduction in the base-plate area of the μITLA relative to the ITLA-MSA-1.2 IA is desired.

The output of the new OSS Control Plane Management project will be a white paper or framework document that addresses the OSS Control Plane challenges associated with optical transport evolution. As networks evolve from TDM to packet and to MPLS-based transport, there will be additional challenges associated with OSS (operations support systems) integration and management of control plane-initiated services spanning multiple layers (TDM OTN and SONET, photonic and MPLS). Adding to the OSS challenges are the operational challenges associated with these converged networks. The new project will address these OSS challenges in making operational the TDM control plane including multilayer TDM CP (SONET/SDH, OTN).

The OIF meeting also saw elections to the following posts:

  • Technical Committee Chair: Jonathan Sadler of Tellabs (beginning October 1);
  • Technical Committee Vice Chair: Klaus-Holger Otto of Alcatel-Lucent;
  • Market Awareness & Education Chair, Networking: Dave Brown of Alcatel-Lucent; and
  • Market Awareness & Education Chair, PLL: Rod Smith of Tyco Electronics.

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