Cisco, and Microsoft demonstrate 800G transport on the Amitié transatlantic communications cable

Feb. 13, 2024
Migrating to 800G, which will be just one step due to growth in the subsea market, will support exponential growth in cloud and AI services.

Cisco completed a trial to transmit 800 Gbps on the Amitié transatlantic communications cable, which runs 6,234 kilometers from Boston, Massachusetts, to Bordeaux, France.  

Amitié's network features 16 fiber pairs, each with 23 Tbps capacity, went live in October 2023.

The trial leveraged the Cisco NCS 1014 platform enabled by Acacia’s Coherent Interconnect Module 8 (CIM 8), powered by its Jannu digital signal processor and advanced silicon photonics. 

Both products are available today and actively deployed in multiple networks. 

Addressing AI growth

This cable is focused on addressing the continued growth of the cloud and the explosion of AI services that is driving the need for greater subsea network capacity, which requires advanced coherent transmission systems that support higher performance. This trial targeted improvements in subsea transmission to provide increased performance and capacity. 

According to Cisco, the trial exceeded what it claimed was any industry performance with DWDM 800G in a 150GHz channel spacing, equivalent to a spectrum efficiency of 5.33bit/s/Hz and a maximum spectral efficiency of 5.6bit/s/Hz.

Additionally, 600G was transmitted over 12,469 kilometers for a trans-Atlantic loopback configuration. This is the first time a 140Gbaud single carrier signal was demonstrated life, and it is the longest distance ever reported at single carrier 600G DWDM transmission on an SDM cable. 

The Amitié cable, a transatlantic submarine cable connecting the US, UK, and France, is now part of Microsoft’s global network supporting all Microsoft services.  

Showcasing Space Division Multiplexing (SDM)

One of the unique elements of the Amitié cable is that it features Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology. 

SDM's benefit in a submarine cable is that it can increase cable cores and overall capacity. 

It can achieve this by combining multiple fiber cables into a bundle to realize space division multiplexing or realize space division multiplexing in the same fiber cable. 

The Amite cable has 16 fiber pairs, more than traditional subsea cables, with repeater power shared across the fiber pairs to deliver the highest cable capacity.  

“The transmission of 800G over 6,234 kilometers is a milestone demonstrating SDM cables can deliver increased capacity over traditional subsea cables,” said Jamie Gaudette, GM of Cloud Network Engineering, Microsoft.

Amitié Cable gains interest

The Amitié cable has continued gaining ground since it was launched. Orange, Aqua Comms, and Zayo have been expanding their presence on the cable.

Orange deployed Infinera’s GX Series-based ICE6 coherent solution in January on the new Amitié subsea cable. The French provider operates two subsea mega cables, Dunant and Amitié, that connect the U.S. and France. 

Aqua Comms activated its Amitié (AEC-3) transatlantic subsea cable system, leveraging native colocation and connectivity services at the CoreSite Boston data center campus (BO1). AEC-3 is the first modern submarine cable system to connect Boston to Europe directly.

AEC-3 is part of the Amitié cable system, jointly invested, owned, and operated by Aqua Comms, Meta, Microsoft, and Vodafone, landing in Lynn Cable Landing Station, Massachusetts, USA, the Bude Cable Landing Station, the United Kingdom, and the Le Porge Cable Landing Station, France.

Zayo, meanwhile, expanded its 400G capabilities with a new route that connects Paris and Marseille and several places in between. The two endpoints of the new route will also provide direct access to Bordeaux, the landing city for the new Amitié transatlantic submarine cable that will connect the U.S. with the UK and France.

For related articles, visit the Network Design Topic Center.
For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.
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