Ciena offers new WaveLogic chips, architecture, switches for 'web-scale world'

Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) has furthered its efforts to align its focus with emerging "web-scale" network trends with the announcement of two new versions of its WaveLogic coherent processor, a new metro-friendly flexible photonic architecture, and a pair of new Service Delivery Systems for small cell mobile backhaul.

Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) has furthered its efforts to align its focus with emerging "web-scale" network trends with the announcement of two new versions of its WaveLogic coherent processor, a new metro-friendly flexible photonic architecture, and a pair of new Service Delivery Systems for small cell mobile backhaul.

According to Ciena, "web-scale" means a networking environment that features "cloud computing, network virtualization, and openness," in the words of its press release. The newly announced technology addresses these concerns in metro and regional networks primarily, although some elements also have ramifications for long-haul and submarine networks.

The WaveLogic 3 Extreme processor is an example of the latter. The device supports 200-Gbps optical transmission via 16QAM modulation through Ciena's 6500 and 5430 packet optical transport systems. Michael Adams, vice president of product and technology marketing at Ciena, says the processor is supporting Verizon's 200-Gbps deployments (see "Verizon running 200G between Boston and New York"). It also can benefit submarine network applications by increasing the number of coherent wavelengths undersea cable can support despite bands of zero dispersion in the fiber. He said that Southern Cross boosted its capacity by 85% thanks to this ability, which is based on use of an 8D-2QAM modulation format. Other submarine cable networks that have deployed line cards with the WaveLogic Extreme processor include Japan-US Cable and Trans Pacific Express (see "Ciena unveils, deploys new submarine network modulation format").

Meanwhile, the upcoming WaveLogic 3 Nano processor will target metro and regional applications that require lower power and higher line card density than the current WaveLogic 3 processor provides. The WaveLogic Nano will support 100G line cards that are only one slot wide, Adams said. This and other design aspects will enable metro 100G that is 70% more power efficient with the just mentioned 50% density improvement versus what "standard" WaveLogic 3 processors can support. The device will be available on the 6500 this June and the 8700 Packetwave Platform in the June/July timeframe.

Asked if the WaveLogic 3 Nano could be used to create a 1RU or 2RU offering similar to those Infinera and Cyan recently announced (see "Infinera ships Cloud Xpress platform" and "Cyan makes data center interconnect play with N-Series"), Adams said that Ciena has had considerable success with Internet content providers via its existing platforms, and that such operators would need a variety of platform types.

The Coherent Select capability is designed to provide some flexibility to networks built with fixed-filter DWDM platforms rather than ROADMs. It leverages the tuning capabilities of the WaveLogic processors to enable WDM reconfigurability similar to that of a two-degree ROADM, Adams explained. Ciena expects to make this capability available in July.

At the systems level, Ciena also will add the 3904 and 3905 to its line of Service Delivery Switches. The units target both indoor and outdoor small cell backhaul and should be available this spring as well.

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