Super-broadband speeds – it’s all in the chip!

May 5th, 2014, Published in Articles: EngineerIT

 

The first deployment of the Infinera DTN-X platform across South Africa will deliver businesses with the simplicity, scalability, and efficiency expected from a fibre network – and it is all in the chip!

Internet Solutions (IS), the first in South Africa to deploy the new technology, is now able to react to changing business demands and requirements, as well as provision bandwidth capacities, much faster than ever before.

Jörg Ruhmann, senior technical director, Infinera EMEA and Prenesh Padayachee, CTO Internet Solutions.

Featuring large scale photonic integrated circuits (PIC), built-in OTN (ITU G.709) switch with 1 Gbps granularity and generalised multi-protocol label switching (GMPLS) based network intelligence that enables dynamically protected mesh networks, the DTN-X delivers the next step function in optical networking. The DTN-X was designed with investment protection in mind, including programmable coherent technology so operators can optimise their fibre assets, scaling to 5 Tbps per bay today, and to 1 Tbps of slot capacity allowing 10 Tbps per bay and 100 Tbps in a multi-bay configuration in the future. This converged dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) transport, OTN switching and future MPLS switching platform consumes less power and less space to deliver frugal network economics without compromising the ability of the network to achieve its full potential.

PIC Infenera

A typical Infinera chip.

The DTN employs pluggable 100 Gbps  line cards, called digital line modules (DLMs), facilitating rapid automated turn-up of DWDM capacity, 100 Gbps at a time. The DLM provides full retiming, reshaping, regeneration, and recoding services for each optical wavelength. It also provides integrated sub-wavelength electronic grooming and switching capabilities for unconstrained and reconfigurable add, drop, and express of capacity through the node. The DLM also isolates all analogue impairments from adjacent spans to eliminate wavelength blocking and simplify network planning.

The DWDM wavelengths from the DLM are multiplexed onto the line-side fibre via the band multiplexing module (BMM). The BMM optically multiplexes capacity from DLMs, and also combines booster and pre-amp optical amplifiers and an optical supervisory channel (OSC). The BMM comes in 40, 80 and 160 wavelength configurations and enables fibre capacity up to 6,4 Tbps. This allows all optical multiplexing to be performed on a single card, offering significant density advantages versus conventional systems.  Capacity boost that is inherent within Infinera’s 500 Gbps FlexCoherent super-channels platform – this includes the management of redundancy that is critical for uninterrupted connectivity services.

Utilising some of the more advanced features on the DTN-X platform, IS is now also able to provision protected circuits to clients at the telco infrastructure layer. These protected circuits provide additional connectivity protection and security, and it allows the provision of back-up fibre routes directly.

Another interesting aspect of the Infinera development is that the system can be used on older and even lossy optic fibre cables. Jörg Ruhmann, senior technical director, Infinera EMEA said that with the digital technology, the chip cleans up analogue impairments such as the  polarisation mode dispersion and  chromatic dispersion rates. We have shown very good performance with this technology and can trade distance versus capacity. The technology is coherent by  literally adjusting  the software.”

“With deployment of  DTN-X platform, we are  able to light up high bandwidth capacity on our 2000 km fibre network”, said Prenesh Padayachee, CTO at Internet Solutions. “This also allows us end-to-end control over our fibre deployments which ultimately gives full control over every aspect of our fibre networks.”

It is expected that South Africa’s bandwidth requirements will triple in the next year and the demand for bandwidth-intensive applications and services will increase beyond anything that has been seen to date. “IS has a total capacity of 8 Tbps on its fibre backbone and  with this technology we will be able to deploy additional bandwidth intensive services such as content distribution services and replication services for disaster recovery, without cost constraints, to ensure that no data is lost across servers or the network.”

As the software defined networks era advances, it will be possible to the provide the ability to create and control virtual networks  without actually owning any part of the Layer 1 infrastructure.

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