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The upcoming 400Gbit generation

added by Michael on 1 Mar 2012

Ciena Corp’s new WaveLogic 3 chip ushers in the new 400Gbit generation of optical processors.  The backbone of the internet will be getting even faster in the next few years.

From lightreading.com:

Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) is announcing its next 100Gbit/s optical processor on Thursday, readying itself for the 400Gbit/s generation.

The WaveLogic 3 chip promises to extend 100Gbit/s reach to 2,500 km without regeneration, through technologies including soft forward error correction (FEC).

This means the 400Gbit/s generation is almost underway, although Ciena expects it to happen in a limited fashion and doesn't expect customer deployments until 2013.

The real importance is on the 100Gbit/s side, where longer reach and lower power are going to be key topics this year.

From gigaom.com:

The company’s new chip that can provide speeds up to 400 Gbps on existing fiber and double the capacity of those cables from the current 8.8 Tbps to the 17.6 number. It says the same chip can provide 100 Gbps speeds over the 9,000-kilometer trans-Pacific cables connecting the West Coast and Japan. That’s a lot of YouTube videos.

But like some over-excited infomercial host, Ciena is promising even more. This chip, which should begin delivering traffic on networks before the end of this year, is also programmable via an API. So even if the speeds aren’t impressive (they are), the potential for programmable access networks is. Much like programmable networks inside the data center are a game-changer, being able to adjust capacity on a fiberoptic cable via software, as opposed to swapping out telecommunications gear, means operators have new options for their products and pricing.