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DANTE, Infinera team on single-PIC terabit superchannel test

Optical transport systems vendor Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) and European research and education network provider DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe) say they have successfully tested the performance of a terabit superchannel on an active segment of the GÉANT production network between Budapest, Hungary, and Bratislava, Slovak Republic. The superchannel was produced via single line card, the parties say.



In fact, the superchannel derived from a single photonic integrated circuit (PIC) on a single line card with a single fiber-optic connector. Infinera currently uses a 500-Gbps PIC on the DTN-X (see "Infinera debuts DTN-X packet-optical transport platform with 500G PIC, OTN/MPLS support"); this trial would appear to illustrate the capabilities of a follow-on device. The new PIC will enable field upgrade of DTN-X platforms to 1.2 Tbps per slot at some future date, enabling a total of 12 Tbps of non-blocking switching capacity in a single rack, Infinera says.

Infinera did not reveal when the new PIC would be ready for fielding.

"Large scale PIC technology is fundamental to making terabit scale super-channels a practical reality," asserts Geoff Bennett, director of solutions and technology at Infinera. "The small footprint of the terabit-scale PIC means we will be able to more than double the capacity of our line cards and our DTN-X chassis in the same rack space. And for all of the DTN-X customers around the world that means they can more easily scale to meet the ever-growing demand from the Internet."

DANTE opted for Infinera’s DTN-X for the GÉANT research and education network in 2012 (see "DANTE selects Infinera DTN-X platform for GEANT Research and Education Network"). The parties have conducted at least one other terabit-scale trial of the packet-optical transport system’s capabilities on the network (see "DANTE, Infinera turn up 2 Tbps in less than 12 minutes on GEANT").

"This is a great example of how the GÉANT network facilitates the innovation of new networking technologies, helping to shape the Internet of today and tomorrow," said Michael Enrico, CTO of DANTE. "This prototype service from Infinera will help us to continue to support the ever growing needs of our NREN (National Research and Education Network) partners and the research and education communities we all serve."

In addition to putting the terabit PIC through its paces, the trial also featured Infinera’s FlexCoherent, which enables operators to choose among a variety of modulation formats via software to better fit the needs of a particular link. The trial showed the ability of the single line card to support such emerging optical modulation formats as PM-3QAM, PM-8QAM, and PM-16QAM.

September 11, 2014