XKL preps 100G DWDM Universal Starter Kit for Fall 2012 release

XKL, LLC has announced its intention to offer its first-generation 100G DWDM Universal Starter Kit. The offering entails a 1RU platform with a pair of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) client interfaces and the ability to transmit a pair of 100-Gbps wavelengths on the line side using dual-polarization quadrature phase-shift keying (DP-QPSK) with coherent detection.

XKL, LLC has announced its intention to offer its first-generation 100G DWDM Universal Starter Kit. The offering entails a 1RU platform with a pair of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) client interfaces and the ability to transmit a pair of 100-Gbps wavelengths on the line side using dual-polarization quadrature phase-shift keying (DP-QPSK) with coherent detection. Leonard Bosack, XKL CEO and co-founder, told Lightwave that he expects to begin customer shipments this fall – a time frame bounded primarily by the availability of 100-Gbps modules and associated electronics.

The platform will support both point-to-point and ring-based topologies, according to Bosack and Susan Vandament, head of business development, sales, and marketing at XKL.

Despite the growing number of module vendors that have announced coherent 100-Gbps products, such devices remain in the initial sampling stages (see "Line-side 100-Gbps optical modules: An OFC/NFOEC 2012 Reporter's Notebook"). They’re therefore difficult to obtain, Bosack and Vandament said. The modules also are based on first-generation DSP technology from NEL that is considerably more power hungry than the upcoming second generation, which the industry expects to see in the next few months. Bosack said he doesn’t expect to have access in quantity to modules based on this new DSP until August at the earliest.

The delay has given XKL product planners time to consider various feature options for the 100G platform. For example, Bosack and Vandament admitted that they’re still debating about whether to use CFPs or CXPs for the client interfaces. Bosack also would like to add more Ethernet-friendly features to the platform than the electronics he’s using can currently support.

The company also is working on an alternative approach to 100 Gbps that would fall within the cost expectations of metro applications (see “Metro 100G: An OFC/NFOEC Reporter's Notebook”). Bosack said the company expects to make an announcement on this subject in the near future.

When the first iteration of the 100G Universal Starter Kit is available, it will conform to XKL’s general systems design principles. In addition to the IRU package, these include being easy to use and manage, compatible with existing 10-Gbps infrastructure, and robust and cost-effective.

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