Optical Network Innovation of the Year: FiberHome 100G OTN Platform
Innovation doesn't stop when the latest product is released. China-based FiberHome demonstrated that clearly this year. While its FONST5000 100G OTN platform was impressing an array of customers both inside and outside its native China (to include Telekom Malaysia, whose national High Speed Broadband (HSBB) project uses the FONST5000 for optical transport), FiberHome released the next-generation FONST6000, a packet enhanced 100G/400G OTN platform that sports an access and switching capacity of up to 25.6 Tbps. And it's already been adopted by China Mobile and China Unicom for their respective backbone and metro network projects.
Exponential growth in network capacity demand - driven by ongoing large-scale deployments of FTTx, LTE, cloud computing and data centers - is creating a major opportunity for the optical sector in the next 12 months, says Li Keng, FiberHome's GM of strategy and market planning.
"There is an urgent requirement for upgrading existing 10G/40G systems or constructing new transport networks with 100G WDM/OTN technology," Li says. "100G system will dominate the backbone network and MAN in the next 10 years."
However, satisfying that demand for greater optical capacity (and at greater distances and efficiencies) presents significant challenges as well, Li adds.
"There is a contradiction between capacity and distance due to optical intensity and nonlinear noise. Higher capacity always means shorter distance. For data rates of 100G and beyond, the optical nonlinear noise is becoming the main obstacle that limits the performance improvement."
To that end, he says, FiberHome is developing advanced nonlinear compensation algorithms and error correcting algorithms for ultra-high-speed, ultra-large-capacity and ultra-long-haul optical transmission. "We have achieved optical transmission distances of 12,160km without electrical regeneration, and transmission speeds of 67.4 Tbps, which are world-firsts."
Meanwhile, another trend on the efficiency front, Li says, is "network convergence and intelligence" - i.e. fewer stacked network elements, reduced room occupation, lower power consumption and efficient multilayer cooperation, combined with an intelligent pipe for guaranteed QoS, efficient OAM and higher traffic value.
FiberHome's specific plans for 2014 naturally include further optimization of its 100G system for better transport performance, lower power consumption and higher integration density. But as indicated in the opening paragraph, the company has already set its sights squarely on 400G.
"FiberHome released its 400G prototype in 2012, and can provide two optimized solutions - one for ultra-long distance backbone network, with transmission distance up to 3,000km, and another for large capacity MANs, with single-mode fiber capacity of 25 Tbps," says Li. "According to our development schedule, the FiberHome 400G system should be commercially available in 2015."
FiberHome is also upgrading its entire series of network equipment, from access and convergence layers to the core, to support software-defined networking (SDN) architecture, Li adds.
Why they won
Their 100G platform is characterized by its flexible expansion capability, consistent stability, high reliability and simple maintainability, as well as its efficient fiber utilization.