Reducing optical transmission costs

Daryl Inniss/Ovum
27 Sep 2012

ECOC 2012, held at the RAI Congress Centre in Amsterdam September 16–20, featured the optical communication industry delivering 100G today, but it also offered a glimpse of how researchers are developing next-generation solutions.

The industry anticipates continued bandwidth growth and hence the need for even lower-cost optical transmission. Consensus is forming that 400G is the next transmission rate, and the market is also coalescing around flexible grid and super-channels. Two NeoPhotonics announcements struck me because they addressed immediate problems.

First, the company introduced a mode-coupled receiver that lowers initial PON cost by increasing the number of connections per OLT from 32 to 128. Second, NeoPhotonics said it will offer its 10×10 transceiver in a CFP2 form factor.

While the 10×10 solution is seen as a stopgap measure, it supports distances not included in existing standards and is sorely needed today for connectivity in data centers and central offices.

Lowering the initial costs of PON installations

NeoPhotonics announced a new GPON OLT transceiver that lowers the initial PON cost. The transceiver supports four OLTs where each can have up to 32 connections. The cost decreases because the splitting ratio increases: one OLT transceiver is used for 128 connections compared to the initial design of 32 connections per transceiver.

Bandwidth performance is not compromised in this implementation because initial PON turn-up typically has far fewer subscribers than 32. NeoPhotonics’ GPON OLT is equipped with a higher power downstream laser that is shared with all PONs. For upstream traffic it introduced a multi-port mode-coupling receiver so the four PONs are connected to a single receiver.

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