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12 December 2011
Ekinops has added 100G technology to its 360 transport product family. The design - available as an in-chassis card and a 1RU pizza box - implements a 100Gbps transponder or a muxponder function. The muxponder aggregates lower speed traffic into a 100Gbps signal while the transponder carries a 100 Gigabit Ethernet client signal. 

The 100Gbps design uses dual-polarisation, quadrature phase-shift keying (DP-QPSK) coherent technology and supports 80 x 100Gbps wavelengths with a 2,000km reach before regeneration. The reach is achieved using Ekinops' proprietary forward error correction scheme.

Several factors account for the emerging demand from service providers and enterprises for 100Gbps channels, says Ekinops. These include the need for greater spectral efficiency, a desire to show technology leadership and a need to link IP core routers that have use 100 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

Ekinops' 100Gbps design supports one CFP and 12 SFP optical modules. The SFPs enable up to a dozen, 8 Gigabit Fibre Channel signals to be carried over 100Gbps making use of Ekinops' T-Chip, a multi-rate, multi-protocol programmable chip implemented using an FPGA. 

"You either use it [the 100G card] as a muxponder or a transponder, and you can upgrade from one to the other," said Rob Adams, vice president of global marketing and product management at Ekinops. 

An operator can use the system as a muxponder, and upgrade its function to a transponder by upgrading the T-chip's firmware once 100Gbps client signals are adopted. Such an approach protects the operator's investment. "With other designs, the operator would have to throw away the muxponder," said Adams.

Ekinops says its 360 platform will in future also support 100Gbps non-coherent technology for the metro. Meanwhile, the vendor will start shipping samples of its 100Gbps coherent system in December 2011, with trials starting in January.

By Roy Rubenstein