In the first demonstration of its 500-Gbps photonic integrated circuits (PICs), Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN) says it has supplied the technology SEACOM is using in private demonstration of 100-Gbps terrestrial transmission. The pan-African submarine network developer is running five wavelengths of 100-Gbps each looped between SEACOM’s Mtunzini cable landing station in KwaZulu Natal and the Teraco data center in Johannesburg. The total transmission distance is 1732 km.
According to Infinera’s new vice president of corporate marketing, Mike Capuano, Infinera has delivered the 100-Gbps capability in a line card form factor using both transmit and receive 500-Gbps PICs. However, he said that the company had not delivered a production-ready 100-Gbps capable system for the trial, which is expected to last until August 3.
Infinera CEO Tom Fallon told analysts during the company’s most recent earnings call that he expects Infinera to deliver trial systems using the 500-Gbps PICs to customers at the beginning of 2012. He added that production shipments should follow in the first half of the year (see “Infinera 2Q revenues at upper end of guidance; 3Q guidance positive”).
Capuano declined to confirm that SEACOM was an Infinera customer. However, the company’s press release on the trial stated “this technology is designed to provide SEACOM’s land-based network in South Africa with a total capacity of over 8 Tb/s per fiber” as well as “This is in line and in support of SEACOM’s plans to expand the marine portion of the cable to over 4.8 Tb/s.”
In addition to demonstrating 100-Gbps data rates, the trial also shows the ability to switch between BPSK and QPSK modulation formats using Infinera’s FlexCoherent technology, Capuano added. (For more on FlexCoherent, see “Infinera details terabit networking strategy”).
“The trial is a landmark achievement for SEACOM and Infinera because it demonstrates our commitment to increase the pace at which African networks are deploying cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure technology to support Africa’s rise as a primary scientific and business destination,” said Brian Herlihy, SEACOM CEO, in the press release.
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