Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN) has taken the wraps off the newest version of its Infinite Capacity Engine DSP and photonic integrated circuit (PIC) combo. The ICE5 will support a total of 2.4 Tbps via 600-Gbps wavelengths or superchannels.
The company also unveiled new L-Band capabilities for the ICE4 and offered a quick look at the upcoming ICE6.
The new ICE5, at the top end, will support 66-Gbaud transmission via 64-QAM over four tunable wavelengths, which Jay Gill, senior marketing manager at Infinera, said the company will demonstrate at OFC 2018 in San Diego this week. The engine will support a variety of reach/transmission rate optimizations, enabling the ICE5 to support metro to submarine network applications. The former can take advantage of the full 600 Gbps per wavelength; Gill says the ICE5 will support 400 Gbps at distances greater than 1500 km.
Other features include built-in support of 400 Gigabit Ethernet, Layer 1 encryption, and Open ICE, which enables ICE-enabled Infinera platforms to work with competitor's line systems. Infinera will begin deploying the ICE5 early next year; Gill declined to discuss the platforms that will see the ICE5 first. The company called out data center interconnect, cable MSO fiber-deep and Distributed Access Architectures initiatives, and 5G mobile support as salient applications for the engine.
Meanwhile, Infinera believes the ICE4 still has a role to play in customer networks. To prove this, the company has announced L-Band capabilities for the device that complement similar capabilities for Infinera's FlexILS line system family. L-Band compatible meshponders with the ICE4 should reach the market by the first quarter of next year; the company also will demonstrate such systems at OFC 2018. Gill says multiple network operator classes would be interested in L-Band; the company's lead customer on the new capability is a communications service provider with fiber constraints.
The ICE4 preceded the ICE5 by about 24 months. The company expects a similar gestation period for the upcoming ICE6, said Gill. The company has already reported 100-Gbaud performance out of prototypes of the ICE6, supporting 600 Gbps over 1400 km as well as 800-Gbps transmission. As is the case with Nokia, which announced its new chips, the PSE-3, last week (see "Nokia touts ultimate in spectral efficiency via PSE-3 chipset and probabilistic constellation shaping"), Infinera is working on the application of constellation shaping; it has demonstrated including constellation-shaped 1024-QAM transmission via prototype ICE6 chips. Gill asserted Infinera's constellation shaping technology would not take a back seat to Nokia's when it becomes available.
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