Lumentum (NASDAQ: LITE) has officially taken the wraps off its MxN wavelength selective switch (WSS), the TrueFlex Twin 8x24 supermodule. The WSS targets route-and-select colorless/contentionless/directionless (CDC) ROADM architectures to create platforms more cost-effective and readily scalable than alternatives based on multicast switches, according to the company.
The MxN approach does not rely on the filters and EDFA-based amplification necessary with multicast architectures, explained Brandon Collings, CTO, and James Goodchild, director product line management, wavelength management products, at Lumentum. MxN therefore provides greater channel width and power flexibility, which they say will become increasingly important as network operators move to transmission rates of 400 Gbps and higher and channel widths move off the 100-GHz grid and carrier counts potentially rise. The device’s passband filters wideband noise, further improving performance. Overall, the MxN WSS will provide both the density and scalability necessary to keep pace with very high port count CDC requirements, the Lumentum sources said.
“As CDC networks evolve to further support superchannels, the filtering requirements become more important. Lumentum’s innovative contentionless MxN WSS supports this evolution and limits the need for add/drop amplification in many applications,” agreed Ian Redpath, practice leader, Components, Transport and Routing, at market research firm Ovum via a Lumentum press release.
The twin design offers 24 ports each for transmit and receive. An additional pair of ports is provided for power monitoring purposes to increase reliability.
Collings and Goodchild expressed confidence that Lumentum will be first to market with such a WSS when the product reaches the limited production stage in the first quarter of next year. They expect significant interest from systems providers serving Tier 1 network operators as well as major internet content providers. The motivation for CDC ROADMs can vary among such operators, Collings pointed out. CDC can improve network flexibility, make restoration more efficient, and promote scalability, he said.
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