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PMC-Sierra presents 10G-EPON silicon

21 March 2012
PMC-Sierra has announced a family of 10G-EPON chips. The devices complete the company's 10Gbps passive optical network (PON) portfolio, which also includes XG-PON designs.

The announced devices comprise four PAS8000 optical line terminal (OLT) and two PAS9000 optical networking unit (ONU) chips that support asymmetrical and symmetrical 10G-EPON: 10Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream, and 10Gbps upstream and downstream, respectively. PMC-Sierra claims it is the first to offer such a dual-mode 10G-EPON ONU device.

PMC-Sierra says that the total PON market is set for strong growth through 2015.  Using market data from Gartner and IDC, the vendor says the 2010 market for EPON silicon was $120million (€91 million), growing to $180 million (€136 million) for both EPON speeds in 2015. In contrast, the GPON market was only $35 million (€26 million) in 2010 but will grow to $175 million (€136 million) for both GPON and XG-PON by 2015.  
"China is going to be a very large market [for PON] compared to elsewhere," said Rammy Bahalul, senior marketing manager, FTTH division at PMC-Sierra.
The PAS8000 devices include such features as an on-chip traffic manager/ packet processor, which inspects and classifies packets as well as rate-limits particular service flows, and an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR). The on-chip OTDR enables operators to locate fibre faults without using standalone test equipment, and can diagnose the nature and location of a fault to within 2m, says Bahalul. The OLT devices also support synchronization protocols required for mobile backhaul.
Both OLT and ONU devices include the power-save mode, which PMC claims halves the power consumption compared to existing PON devices. For example, it allows the ONU to be shut down when appropriate. The two families of 10G-EPON devices and reference designs are available now.
Field trials of 10G-EPON have already been conducted in South Korea, Japan and China, says Bahalul, while first 10G-EPON deployments will start in 2013.
By Roy Rubenstein