Ekinops 20-Gbps transponder doubles 10-Gbps capacity

Optical systems vendor Ekinops has unveiled a 20-Gbps transponder, which can transmit a pair of 10-Gbps in 50 GHz of spectrum on existing networks. The transponder not only doubles channel count, but decreases cost per 10-Gbps signal through shared electronics, an Ekinops source tells Lightwave.

[UPDATED] Optical systems vendor Ekinops has unveiled a 20-Gbps transponder, which can transmit a pair of 10-Gbps in 50 GHz of spectrum on existing fiber-optic networks. The transponder not only doubles channel count, but decreases cost per 10-Gbps signal through shared electronics, an Ekinops source tells Lightwave.

According to Rob Adams, vice president of product marketing and product line manager at Ekinops, the tunable transponder in essence transmits and receives a pair of 10-Gbps signals with 25-GHz spacing. These fit within the ITU-T 50-GHz grid without the need for guardbands, which means they can interoperate not only with Ekinops gear but travel through amplifiers and other systems from competing vendors.

The use of a single transponder rather than two to transmit a pair of 10-Gbps signals offers an obvious reduction in cost-per-signal, Adams points out. Meanwhile, electronics within the transponder, including the company’s DynaFEC (Dynamic Forward Error Correction) technology, ensure that signal reach requirements are met.

Ekinops positions the new capability as an alternative to carriers facing capacity constraints in their networks, but who don’t yet want to invest in 40- or 100-Gbps technology.

"While 100G will take many years to replace 10G as the primary service rate, it is refreshing that Ekinops is heavily concentrating on making practical improvements on a more vital and valuable type of solution," said Mark Lutkowitz, principal at Telecom Pragmatics. "The bulk of capital expenditures on optical equipment by carriers will remain based on 10G technology for an extensive period of time."

[UPDATE]
The transponders have been available since last fall. Sources say Ekinops has a customer for the technology, but declined to divulge the customer's identity.

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