Infinera touts 1.2T ICE7 optical engine, expands GX Series capabilities and applications

March 6, 2023
The combination can reduce cost per bit by as much as 30% and power per bit by as much as 60%, asserts the company.

Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) has released plans for the seventh generation of its Infinite Capacity Engine, the apply named 1.2-Tbps ICE7, as well as the evolution of its GX Series Compact Modular Platform to further support multi-haul optical line system requirements as well as new use cases. The combination can reduce cost per bit by as much as 30% and power per bit by as much as 60%, asserts the company.

The ICE7 follows the general trend within Infinera’s ICE strategy in that, as an odd-numbered iteration, the new generation is more of an evolutionary step up from the ICE6 rather than a revolutionary one, according to Rob Shore, senior vice president of marketing at the company. In fact, the 5-nm DSP within the engine is coming from an outside supplier based on a 148-Gbaud custom design, Shore revealed. He declined to name the collaborator – other than to say it wasn’t Ciena.

Regardless, when it begins to roll out in the first half of 2024, the ICE7 coherent engine will leverage both the DSP and Infinera’s recently announced ICTR140 transmit/receive optical subassembly (TROSA) to enable 1.2-Tbps coherent transmission at a cost/bit reduction of up to 30% and power/space per bit by up to 60%, Shore said. In addition to the top transmission rate of 1.2 Tbps, the ICE7 will enable 800G reach of up to 3000 km, a distance Infinera says is sufficient to cover more than 85% of network links. The ICE7 will be programmable, with open APIs to operate over what the company asserts will be “virtually any existing optical line system.”

New on the GX Series

Existing GX Series platforms will offer the first home for the ICE7. Meanwhile, Infinera also plans to roll out new capabilities for the GX Series for a wider range of multi-haul applications. These new features include support of Super C- and Super L-Band operation that would open single-fiber usable spectrum to 12 THz. The result would be a potential capacity increase of 25% per fiber over conventional C+L-Band approaches. Pairing Super C and Super L with the ICE7 would enable support of nearly 100 Tbps on a single fiber pair, according to Infinera.

Other new capabilities include multi-haul link control, support for FOADM for up to 32-degree ROADM functionality with integrated Raman amplification, and multiple new scalable add/drop options, from fixed to colorless/directionless/contentionless. Infinera also plans to deliver new chassis options that deliver greater slot capacity, as well as 300-mm versions to widen the range of deployment scenarios. The expanded line of chassis includes shelves that can be combined into a single network element to enable scalability while improving efficiency and reducing installation complexity.

Also, new traffic management capabilities will enable sled-based 2.4-Tbps OTN switching implementations. Such a scenario would leverage multiple pluggable 400G coherent interfaces and OTN switching across sled pairs to support grooming with hardware redundancy.

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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