AES Semigas


20 October 2021

Windstream partners with II-VI Inc

Optical solutions provider Windstream Wholesale of Little Rock, AK, USA has partnered with engineered materials and optoelectronic component maker II-VI Inc of Saxonburg, PA, USA to co-develop next-generation transceivers that will streamline deployment of 400 gigabit services while significantly reducing costs, power consumption and network complexity.

“This game-changing partnership is a vital step toward making 400G wavelengths the default deployment service for large wholesale and hyperscale customers,” says Windstream’s chief network officer Buddy Bayer. “II-VI’s high-transmit-power 0dBm 400G QSFP-DD DCO [digital coherent optics] transceivers will enable Windstream to deploy greatly simplified network architectures, by optically connecting routers directly to access, metro and regional transport networks without additional intermediary interfaces, eliminating an entire layer of optical equipment,” he adds. “This revolution in IP-over-DWDM network architecture achieves significant savings in upfront costs and ongoing expenses, affording Windstream a highly competitive operational model.”

Windstream Wholesale announced in February that it had deployed 400 gigabits per second single-wavelength transmission across its long-haul network using compact, low-power, industry-compliant pluggable modules. These modules represent the next major step in network evolution while driving high-capacity optical connections to the network edge to deliver ultra-fast speeds to more end-users than before.

Windstream Wholesale says that the announcement bolsters its position leveraging a multi-layer open architecture that enables a fast and flexible solution along with interoperability through the fundamental design principles of disaggregation, promoting speed, flexibility and interoperability standards.

“Our partnership with Windstream will fast-track the development of a disruptive 400G transmission technology that builds on our award-winning integrated coherent transmitter and receiver optical subassembly, or IC-TROSA, which itself is based on our advanced and proprietary indium phosphide technology along with our industry-leading optoelectronic integration platform,” says Matthias Berger, VP, coherent technology, II-VI Inc. “Indium phosphide is the intrinsic enabler of the 400G transceiver’s high 0dBm output power yet with low enough power consumption to be uniquely suitable for QSFP-DD.”

Windstream says that the new technology will:

  • deliver what is claimed to be  the world’s first high-performance 0dBm, 400G QSFP-DD coherent pluggable module — making these transceivers compatible with existing and emerging modern ROADM-based photonic layers supporting multi-service, multi-layer architectures;
  • significantly increase 400G transceiver density by drastically reducing the size and power demands of 400G pluggables relative to sled-based and even CFP2-based solutions;
  • reduce CapEx and OpEx by allowing for direct insertion of high-performance coherent optics into current 400G-enabled routers, based on the smaller form factor; and
  • open up a direct technical path for the further evolution IP-over-DWDM with ROADM-based photonic layers, extending the application space beyond simple point-to-point DCI-style networks.

On 19 October, Art Nichols, Windstream’s VP of architecture and technology, participated with industry experts in a webinar panel ‘Beyond 400ZR-Expanding the Reach of Pluggable Coherent’.

Windstream’s Intelligent Converged Optical Network provides open and disaggregated networking infrastructure, enabling wholesale and enterprise technology customers to select unique custom routes, maintain operational insights with Windstream’s Network Intelligence functions, and place their networks closer to the edge to better serve end-users.

Tags: Optical communications II-VI Inc




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