Infinera touts submarine network spectral efficiency records

In a presentation at the Submarine Networks World conference this week, Infinera Subsea CTO Scott Jackson reported that the company has set a pair of coherent transmission spectral efficiency records. The company achieved the milestone results during a series of field trials over the transatlantic MAREA submarine network.

In a presentation at the Submarine Networks World conference this week, Infinera Subsea CTO Scott Jackson reported that the company has set a pair of coherent transmission spectral efficiency records. The company achieved the milestone results during a series of field trials over the transatlantic MAREA submarine network.

During the trials, Infinera achieved the following spectral efficiency numbers:

  • 6.21 bits per second per hertz (b/s/Hz) over 6,644 km, the full length of the MAREA submarine cable. That spectral number supports fiber capacity of 26.2 Tbps
  • 4.46 b/s/Hz over 13,210 km (essentially a round-trip connection), which translates to 18.6-Tbps fiber capacity.

The record-setting 16QAM coherent transmissions leveraged the fourth generation of Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4). ICE4 is the company’s current flagship coherent DSP; it announced details of the upcoming ICE5 at OFC 2018 this past March (see “Infinera fifth Infinite Capacity Engine ICE5 supports 2.4 Tbps”). The ICE4 enable the use of multi-carrier common wavelocking based on Infinera’s large-scale photonic integrated circuit (PIC) as well as digitally synthesized subcarriers with “near Nyquist” pulse shaping. The trials also benefited from the use of high-optical power, large-effective-area fiber-optic cable.

The MAREA submarine network, backed by Facebook and Microsoft, runs between Virginia Beach, VA, and Bilbao, Spain (see “Microsoft, Facebook partner for MAREA undersea cable system”). It was completed in September 2017.

“We were thrilled to have an opportunity to work with a major internet content provider to demonstrate Infinera’s leading innovation in spectral efficiency over the MAREA cable system,” said Dr. David Welch, co-founder and chief strategy and technology officer of Infinera. “Infinera’s ICE4 technology has continually delivered in optical performance for our customers over the past year. This latest example, in a production platform, allowed upwards of more than 30% increased spectral capacity over other supplier technologies that are available today.”

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