Having dodged a national strike in France last Thursday, I'm back in the office and reviewing my notes from ECOC in Turin. While I don't have official numbers from the show organizers yet, my impression is that the show topped last year's in terms of attendance. Certainly the companies on the floor with whom I spoke expressed approval of the traffic levels and quality.
As for the conference, the only complaints I heard concerned the conference rooms themselves. Most were temporary structures, and you could occasionally hear what was going on in the room next to you.
But overall, the bar has been set for Geneva next year, September 18-21. Meanwhile, here are a few salient tidbits that didn't make my earlier notebooks (see the Day 1 notebook and that for Days 2 and 3):
- With all the talk about 40G/100G from the technology suppliers, the test equipment developers stood ready to assist. Companies such as JDSU (with its ONT 100G), Agilent (with its N4391A optical modulation analyzer), and EXFO (with its PSO-200 Optical Modulation Analyzer) showed off established products, the latter two primarily aimed at coherent modulation applications. Optametra also is active in this field, and the company's VP of engineering, Daniel van der Weide, was showing off its OM4106 Coherent Lightwave Signal Analyzer in the LeCroy booth, paired with LeCroy's WaveMaster 830 Zi oscilloscope. van der Weide reported that, judging by the level of expertise visitors to the booth displayed, technology developers were now up to speed on coherent technology overall, and were asking questions about how to perform specific measurements. This trend illustrates the growing maturity of the technology, as well as the fact that carriers will soon deploy coherent-enabled systems in more than ones and twos -- which probably will mean field versions of the constellation analyzers Optametra and its competitors currently supply for the lab. That idea has occurred to van der Weide as well, and he's already started thinking about how to pull off such a transition. No word on when that might happen, however.
- LeCroy, meanwhile, touted an upgrade to the WaveMaster 830 Zi that will up its capabilities from 4x30 GHz to 4x45 GHz by the first month of 2011. van der Weide was excited about the kinds of measurements one could do with that kind of horsepower. The scope has more high-speed uses than as a platform for coherent analysis, however, including 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet technology testing. LeCroy also showed off a soon-to-be announced S-parameter analyzer, called the SPARQ (for "S-parameter Quickly," according to a wag at the booth).
- Anritsu highlighted its newly released MD1260A 40/100G Ethernet Analyzer.
- However, not everyone needs all the bells and whistles -- and the expense -- of the fancy BERT and communication analyzer test sets, according to Picosecond Pulse Labs. For these users, PPL offers the new Model 12060 20-GHz pattern generator. It offers programmable data rate, amplitude, offset, and crossing point, among other features. It supports single bit error injection; a built-in jitter injection option is coming soon.
- Luceo Technologies of Germany displayed the L-6001-PHS-1 Phase Shifter Module for the XBERT and ParalleX chassis. The module splits the REF-CLK into six different REF-CLK outputs; each of these outputs can be delayed by up to +/- 200 ps. The feature enables users to align the output patterns of multiple Luceo E-BERT modules or introduce well-defined delays. This would help with crosstalk measurements in multichannel applications, Luceo says.
Meanwhile, what's good for coherent technology is good for Raman amplifiers and Raman/EDFA hybrids. RED-C Optical Networks unveiled one, Furukawa Electric displayed one, and JDSU has one too. Raman also is good for low-latency networks -- an application whose 15 minutes of fame are just about up, sources agreed, unless someone can find a demand for it beyond financial networks.
Finally, Oclaro will finally give JDSU some competition in the tunable XFP space, thanks to its newly announced module. However, JDSU has taken full advantage of being first to market, and has signed up 32 customers for its device. Meanwhile, a source at Opnext labeled his company's failure to have a tunable XFP on the market "a disappointment."