Google’s Dunant SDM-enabled submarine cable system ready for service

Feb. 8, 2021
Dunant will leverage space-division multiplexing technology across its 12 fiber pairs to enable a capacity of 250 Tbps.

SubCom and Google report the completion of deployment and testing of the Dunant submarine cable system, which means the transatlantic submarine network is ready for service. Dunant will leverage space-division multiplexing technology across its 12 fiber pairs to enable a capacity of 250 Tbps.

Dunant connects Virginia Beach in the U.S. and Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez on the French Atlantic coast. The submarine cable was designed, manufactured, and installed on schedule despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Subcom and Google point out.

The submarine network’s 12 fiber pairs are more than the 6 or 8 pairs typically found in submarine cable networks. The additional fiber is enabled by the SDM transmission technology, which distributes transmissions across spatially diverse pathways (in this case, multiple fibers). Thus, as part of the SDM design, pump lasers and related optical components are shared among multiple fiber pairs as opposed to dedicated to a single fiber pair. The system also features power-optimized repeaters.

“Google is dedicated to meeting the exploding demand for cloud services and online content that continues unabated,” said Mark Sokol, senior director of Infrastructure, Google Cloud. “With record-breaking capacity and transmission speeds, Dunant will help users access content wherever they may be and supplement one of the busiest routes on the internet to support the growth of Google Cloud. Dunant is a remarkable achievement that would not have been possible without the dedication of both SubCom and Google’s employees, partners, and suppliers, who overcame multiple challenges this year to make this system a reality.”

The Dunant submarine cable system was first announced in 2018 (see "TE SubCom to deploy Dunant submarine cable system for Google"). It derives its name from Swiss businessman and social activist Henry Dunant, who founded the Red Cross and was first to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

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