Cassini open packet transponder from Edgecore Networks reaches general availability

Open hardware platform developer Edgecore Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accton Technology Corp., says its Cassini open packet transponder is now generally available. The company had unveiled the modular whitebox packet transponder last year when it offered the platform to the Open Optical Packet Transport (OOPT) project group of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP).

Feb 26th, 2019

Open hardware platform developer Edgecore Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accton Technology Corp., says its Cassini open packet transponder is now generally available. The company had unveiled the modular whitebox packet transponder last year when it offered the platform to the Open Optical Packet Transport (OOPT) project group of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP; see “Edgecore Networks offers Cassini whitebox packet transponder to Telecom Infra Project”).

Cassini combines packet switching, supported via a mix of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) packet switching ports, and 100/200 Gbps coherent transmission. The platform targets metro and long-haul applications, including data center interconnect and service provider optical networks. Edgecore Networks says the open, disaggregated Cassini platform will support coherent DSPs and optical transceivers from a variety of suppliers, including Acacia Communications, Finisar, Fujitsu Optical Components, Lumentum, and NTT Electronics. It also is compatible with commercial software from IP Infusion and open source software including SONiC and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) Open Disaggregated Transport Network (ODTN) platform. The ONF has incorporated Cassini as an open packet transponder platform into the ONF’s ODTN reference design, the company asserts. Cassini can therefore be managed from an ONOS controller for the various use cases the ODTN reference design targets.

The 1.5RU Cassini offers a system throughput of 3.2 Tbps. The platform has 16 fixed 100GbE QSFP28 ports, as well as eight line card slots to incorporate a mix of additional 100GbE ports or coherent ACO/DCO optical ports. Supported line cards include:

  • A 100GbE Line Card: 2 x 100GbE QSFP28 with MACsec
  • A DCO Line Card: 1 x 100G/200G CFP2 with MACsec, supporting DCO pluggable transceivers
  • An ACO Line Card: 1 x 100G/200G CFP2 with NTT Electronics ExaSPEED 200 DSP, supporting CFP2-ACO coherent optical transceiver modules.

“One of our first initiatives in the TIP OOPT group was work on open optical packet transponders to enable more flexible and lower-cost solutions for service provider access and backhaul networks,” said Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, co-chair of the OOPT group. “We were pleased with Edgecore’s earlier contribution of the Cassini hardware design to the TIP community and the cooperative development with optical and software vendors that it generated. We now welcome Edgecore’s release of Cassini as a commercial product.”

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