Ciena expands use of coherent optical processing
Capability to be available on switching products by mid-2011
Coherent optical processing got a boost yesterday when Ciena Corporation announced it would expand its use of the technology.
Coherent optical processors involve a “fundamental change” in how data is sent over optical connections, Ciena Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Rick Dodd told Connected Planet. Instead of simply turning a light on and off as with traditional optical processing, coherent optical processing works “more like the wireless world—you can change the phase and amplitude,” Dodd said.
Ciena’s coherent moves come as the vendor’s technology plays a major role in Verizon’s launch of 100G Ethernet technology in its European long-haul network, announced today.
In comparison with the traditional approach, coherent optics can support higher bandwidth speeds, currently as high as 100 Gb/s, said Dodd. The technology also enables high-bandwidth communications to be supported over some types of fiber that would not otherwise support such high speeds, added Dodd.
Ciena has previously used coherent optical processing in certain optical transport products. The company now plans to extend that capability to a switching product, the ActivSpan 4200 advanced services platform, by mid-year.
Ciena is not the only company to support coherent optics. Rival Alcatel-Lucent also offers a 100 Gb/s switching using coherent optical processing.
Moving forward Ciena is planning additional advances based on coherent optical processing, including products capable of supporting 400 Gb/s or even 1 Tb/s connectivity, Dodd said.
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