Nortel demos 100-GbE traffic over 100G wavelength

DECEMBER 19, 2008 -- Nortel says it demonstrated the capability to run 100-GbE traffic over a single 100-Gbps wavelength to customers visiting the company's Research and Development Centre in Ottawa.

DECEMBER 19, 2008 - Nortel (search for Nortel) says it has advanced the development of 100 Gigabit Ethernet transport, a technology that is key to delivering the cost-effective bandwidth that service providers and enterprises need in the era of Hyperconnectivity.

Nortel claims to have demonstrated the capability to run 100-GbE traffic over a single 100-Gbps wavelength to customers visiting the company's Research and Development Centre in Ottawa.

The following video, which the company posted yesterday on YouTub, shows the technology in action.

Today, most carriers and enterprises rely on Ethernet to meet the need for bandwidth-intensive services like VoIP, multimedia conferencing, and streaming video. As hyperconnected users demand more and more from their networks, carriers and operators must add capacity. This is often done by using multiple 10-GbE connections. The problem with this approach is that it increases the cost and complexity of the network because of the multiple components, switches, and interfaces required, say Nortel representatives. 100 GbE, delivered over a single 100G optical wavelength, will allow operators to meet bandwidth demands delivering 10 times the capacity of today's networks in a more simple and cost-effective way.

"Nortel's demonstration of 100 GbE over one 100G wavelength is a significant milestone in the industry's march towards offering high-capacity Ethernet transport speeds cost effectively over existing networks," contends Philippe Morin, president of Metro Ethernet Networks at Nortel. "Nortel continues to raise the bar in optical innovation to the benefit of our customers, who are relying on us to help them continually upgrade their existing networks to meet rising demands for bandwidth."

Nortel says it is combining 100G capacity--10 times the capacity of today's 10G networks--with the speed and simplicity of Ethernet. The demonstration featured a 100-GbE prototype developed by Nortel and utilized the 100-GE Development Accelerator System from Ixia (search for ) to simulate and monitor traffic on the network.

For the demonstration, both Ixia and Nortel used a 100-GbE client signal, meeting the IEEE's proposed 100-m physical layer specifications. Nortel says it was able to transport the signal error-free over a single Optical Transport Unit 4 (OTU4)-compliant 100-Gbps wavelength running at 112-Gbps over 800 km of fiber using its 100G Adaptive Optical Engine.

Nortel claims this leadership in 100 GbE builds on its successful 40G/100G Adaptive Optical Engine, which offers service providers the capacity to meet their customers rising bandwidth needs, which are based on the popularity of applications like HD video, online gaming, and video conferencing, and to support growth in hosted applications. Nortel says its 40G/100G is a plug, play, and evolve technology that is deployable over any fiber, allowing operators to reduce engineering, eliminate equipment, and upgrade quickly and cost-effectively from 10G to 40G--and ultimately, all the way to 100G--on existing networks and installed fiber.

In July of 2006, the IEEE established the high-speed study group (HSSG) to look into the three- to seven-year requirements for Ethernet speeds beyond 10 Gbps. The HSSG reached the conclusion that both 100 GbE and 40 GbE should be pursued and forwarded a project authorization request (PAR) for a higher speed Ethernet amendment to the IEEE 802.3 standard. With approved objectives and PAR, the IEEE 802.3ba Task Force was formed in December of 2007. The task force has been meeting regularly to discuss technology proposals that will hopefully result in a standard, expected in 2010. Nortel is an active participant within the IEEE's 802.3ba task force and provides the liaison officer between IEEE and ITU-T for the topic of higher speed Ethernet.

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