April 2, 2013
While previous conferences were focused on showcasing manufacturers’ 100 Gbps coherent optics solutions that were to be better than others, this year’s conference seemed to be more focused on moving the boundaries of integration in components, systems, and software.
Photonic integration for one was a noteworthy topic as technology companies showed their advances in developing integrated components using silicon or Indium Phosphide. Companies that showcased their development were Kotura and OneChip Photonics. Kotura’s approach was to use silicon photonics, aiming to deliver a 2 km span 100 Gbps QSFP product in early 2014. OneChip Photonics was building a 100 Gbps LR4 QSFP by the end of 2013.boundaries of integration in components, systems, and software.
With the acquisition of Lightwire, Cisco showed their future plans to increase the faceplate density of their routers and optical systems with the CPAK. The CPAK uses CMOS photonics to integrate optical components into a smaller form factor than the CFP to deliver a 100 Gbps LR4 that consumes 70% less power and space than the current CFP modules.
Platform integration also continued to be a theme as more vendors merged IP functions with optical transport. Ciena, enhanced their leading optical product, 6500, with functionality ported over from their carrier Ethernet products such as the 3920; and Juniper added 100 Gbps coherent DWDM optical cards to their newly launched PTX 3000.
A conference in 2013 wouldn’t be a conference without the mention of SDN. SDN was also present at OFC as system manufacturers worked to move closer to an environment where SDN could be possible, starting with integrating their network management system (NMS) software across platforms. So rather than having a NMS for just their IP products and a separate NMS for just their optical products, manufacturers were delivering a single NMS to manage systems across the network from end-to-end and from layer 0 to layer 3. Manufacturers that we met with at OFC/NFOEC 2013 with a single NMS product included Ericsson and Ciena.