Ciena announces 100G customer

MAY 5, 2009 By Stephen Hardy -- Ciena Corp. has announced it will support the first commercial deployment of single-wavelength 100-Gbps technology. Interestingly, the customer isn't a carrier.

MAY 5, 2009 By Stephen Hardy -- Ciena Corp. (search Lightwave for Ciena) has announced it will support the first commercial deployment of single-wavelength 100-Gbps technology. Interestingly, the customer isn't a carrier.

The systems vendor says that it will deploy 100G-enabled versions of its CN 4200 RS FlexSelect Advanced Services platform to support a new data center network for NYSE Euronext. According to Joe Berthold, Ciena's vice president of network architecture, the stock exchange and technology company has decided to create a 100-Gbps network, called the Secure Financial Transaction Infrastructure (SFTI), to support its new data centers in the New York and London metropolitan areas. The hubs will serve as the company's operational hubs for SFTI, supporting more than 1 billion daily transactions comprising petabytes of information. Berthold says he expects SFTI will operate at 100-Gbps shortly after it begins operations in early 2010, as NYSE Euronext is already close to outstripping the capacity of its current 40-Gbps network.

The 100-Gbps technology incorporated into the CN4200 platforms is similar to that demonstrated in November and highlighted in a December announcement of a collaboration with the California Institute of Technology. Ciena will use a dual-polarization DQPSK modulation format without coherent detection.

Berthold is a frequent spokesman for the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), which has focused its attention on dual-polarization QPSK with coherent detection. He says that Ciena sees the current modulation approach as a stepping stone toward what the OIF is attempting to accomplish. However, NYSE Euronext's SFTI won't require the extended reach the OIF work envisions. Also, much of the electronics necessary for coherent detection isn't commercially available, particularly ICs for signal processing and analog-to-digital conversion. Berthold said that Ciena had to come up with key ASIC technology itself to make the current offering possible.

Berthold declined to describe the ASIC work or reveal other technology suppliers that Ciena has tapped for new 100G capabilities. He also would not discuss how many 100-Gbps units Ciena hoped to ship to NYSE Euronext or where they would be deployed.

Ciena is engaged with other potential customers whose identities Berhold would not reveal. Field trials with at least some of these should ensue in the relatively near term, he predicts. He says that reaction to the November demonstration has demonstrated the breadth of interest in 100-Gbps transport, ranging from carriers to research and education, government, and the private sector.

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