ADTRAN new mini-ROADM blade adds degrees and channel capacity

Looking to extend the applications of its packet-optical transport technology into metro and middle-mile applications, ADTRAN, Inc., (NASDAQ:ADTN) has announced a new miniature reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer card with double the number of degrees and the number of channels of its predecessor. The blade, which fits into the company’s Total Access 5000 platform, offers four degrees of reconfigurability and 88-channel support.

Looking to extend the applications of its packet-optical transport technology into metro and middle-mile applications, ADTRAN, Inc., (NASDAQ:ADTN) has announced a new miniature reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) card with double the number of degrees and the number of channels of its predecessor. The ROADM blade, which fits into the company’s Total Access 5000 platform, offers four degrees of reconfigurability and 88-channel support.

The ROADM line card reached general availability within the past four to six weeks, and deployments with customers are in the initial phases, according to Kurt Raaflaub, product manager, Ethernet and optical solutions, within ADTRAN’s Carrier Networks Division. It enables the Total Access 5000 to be used in all-optical multi-ring and mesh architectures. Like its predecessor in the Optical Networking Edge (ONE) portfolio, the blade integrates all the required elements for ROADM functionality – including amplification, optical monitoring, and automatic power balancing – into a single package. In this instance, the integration includes the ability to switch between 100-GHz and 50-GHz grid spacing, which enables compatibility with the first-generation blade that was designed for 100-GHz spacing and 44 channels. This feature should prove useful when interfacing metro and access ring networks.

“Historically, ADTRAN has been very focused on optimizing its optical product line to support access applications at the network’s edge. That is until now,” said Ron Kline, principal analyst, network infrastructure, Ovum, via an ADTRAN press release. “The new four-degree, gridless ROADM for ADTRAN’s ONE converged packet optical product supports both 100-GHz and 50-GHz designs, extending ONE’s network role to support metro mesh-centric and middle-mile applications. The ROADM technology also gives operators a bridge between edge and core networks and provides the flexibility to evolve channel plans over time as higher-speed wavelengths are deployed in the metro: 100G and ultimately even 400G.”

While ADTRAN does position the new ONE ROADM capabilities as a stepping stone from its current support of 10-Gbps data rates to 100 Gbps, the company doesn’t yet offer 100-Gbps capabilities, Raaflaub admits. He was non-committal about whether ADTRAN will take a coherent or 4x28-Gbps approach, although he did say that ADTRAN engineers likely will pursue an in-house rather than module-based design.

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