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Ciena and research partners build multi-national SDN test

9 March 2012
 
One year ago, Ciena introduced programmable modulation with its Wavelogic 2 coherent optical processors for high-speed optical transport (see Optical processors from Ciena deliver flexible modulation). Now Ciena has announced the third generation of its Wavelogic family, which takes the idea of programmability much further.
 
WaveLogic 3 is the industry’s first coherent technology to scale to 400G, Ciena says. In practice Ciena will deliver 400G by bonding two 200G optical carriers in a 100GHz DWDM grid spacing.  Data is encoded on each optical carrier using 16-QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation), which uses both phase and amplitude modulation to deliver four bits of information per symbol.  
 
The announcement also marks Ciena’s entry in the single-channel 100G space; previously, the company’s 100G technology used two 50Gbps optical carriers in a 50GHz grid spacing.
 
Ciena says the upgrade is not really about raw capacity, it’s about enabling smart and efficient use of the available bandwidth.  
 
“The part that gets me excited about the future of optical networking... is the incredible amount of optical intelligence that WaveLogic 3 has baked into it,” wrote Stephen Alexander, Ciena’s CTO, in a corporate blog. “Look past the big headline of ‘first to 400G’ and you see that WaveLogic 3 is also the industry’s first to incorporate DSP in the transmitter and the first to be fully software-programmable.”
 
That programmable functionality will enable Ciena to optimize signals to achieve the best combination of bit-rate, reach and latency, depending on the particular application.
 
Ciena says there are three main technology improvements in WaveLogic 3:
 
A transmit digital signal processor (DSP) – Ciena has integrated digital signal processing into the transmitter to enable sophisticated software-programmable modulation.  Modulation schemes supported include DP-BPSK (for submarine applications), DPSK, QPSK and 16-QAM.
Soft FEC – A new soft-decision forward error correction (soft FEC) algorithm in WaveLogic 3 significantly extends the maximum reach at high bit rates. WaveLogic 3 will support 100G over distances “well over 2,500 km” for 90% of the market base of installed fibre, the company says. The Soft FEC in WaveLogic 3 is also software-programmable, allowing operators to dial back the FEC in order to reduce latency for a particular reach.
Next-gen DSP receiver – WaveLogic 3 also includes an upgraded DSP receiver that consumes far less power and has an improved ability to adjust for PMD in the fibre. The Wavelogic 3 chipset, which takes advantage of 32-nm CMOS process technology, is capable of 75 trillion operations per second—that’s six times the processing power of the previous generation.
Ciena expects to see the Wavelogic 3 chipset in live deployments with multiple customers this year, including field trials of 400G transmission.
 
By Pauline Rigby