June 25, 2005 Chicago, IL -- At Supercomm this week, Nortel Networks introduced the Common Photonic Layer (CPL), a modular DWDM optical transport platform designed to be paired with several of the company's existing systems. Nortel hopes the platform, which one Nortel staffer at the show said will provide independence between the optical and service layers, will appeal to service provider, enterprise, and cable multiple systems operator (MSO) markets.
Nortel Networks says it developed the CPL to deliver significant simplification of DWDM optical line systems by eliminating the need for the expensive circuitry found in today's line systems. The CPL also delivers automation and intelligence in the optical line system to accelerate new system and service turn-up of reliable bandwidth needed for services such as voice over IP, residential video, and optical broadband services.
The CPL aims to simplify network planning, engineering, configuration, and deployment of metropolitan, regional, and long-haul network applications by leveraging a series of modular building blocks designed on a common platform. As a result of these efficiencies, Nortel Networks internal business cases show that customers can realize significant savings, including up to 50 percent savings in footprint and power, up to 40 percent time savings on system activation, and up to 93 percent savings in system optimization.
The elements that compose the CPL include the channel mux/demux, a four- or eight-port unit; the group mux/demux, which provides a second-stage mux/demux capability and provides an interface to other nodes, elements within the node, and "the outside world," in the words of a Nortel brochure; a wavelength blocker and wavelength selective switch; an amplifier; and Domain Optical Control software.
These elements can be deployed in conjunction with any of the Nortel Networks optical networks products, including Optical Cross Connect DX, Optical Cross Connect HDX/HDXc, Optical Metro 3500, Optical Multiservice Edge 6500, Optical Metro 5200, and Optical DWDM Terminal (DT). It supports in-service remote configuration of wavelengths and management of transiting lambdas as well as optical branching. It also minimizes the need for OEO conversions.
According to Sterling Perrin, senior research analyst, Optical Networks, IDC, "This new solution should appeal to cable MSOs, service providers, and enterprises globally, where network simplicity coupled with low-cost capacity can be a competitive advantage."
SURFnet, an education and research network organization based in the Netherlands, selected the CPL for use in its network. Several other service provider and cable MSO customers are trialing this platform with planned field deployments starting in the summer of 2004.