OIF announces four new technical work projects

28 February 2003 -- The Optical Internetworking Forum has created four new technical work projects, focusing on unified 10 Gigabit specifications, a Data Transport Protocol, an enhanced tunable laser project, and User Network Interface 1.0 Release 2.

28 February 2003 -- In the wake of the Optical Internetworking Forum's (OIF) quarterly meeting on 11-13 February, the Forum has announced the creation of four new technical work projects for 2003.

Three originated in the OIF's Physical and Link Layer (PLL) Working Group (WG), including unified 10 Gigabit specifications, a Data Transport Protocol and an enhanced Tunable Laser Project. The fourth addresses the User Network Interface (UNI) 1.0 Release 2 which the OIF has fine-tuned to align with input from standards bodies over the last two years.

"The OIF has a full plate of technical work planned for 2003," said Joe Berthold of CIENA Corp, president of the OIF. "The projects planned by our Technical Committee address some of the most critical issues facing the optical networking industry."

1. Unified 10 Gigabit Optical Specification
The goal of the OIF's Unified 10 Gigabit Optical Specification is to provide manufacturers, users and systems vendors with a common interface allowing one product to be used for SONET SDH, Ethernet and Fiber Channel. Currently, three different products - one for each application - must be manufactured, tested, inventoried, and spared. The OIF intends to develop a Unified 10 Gigabit Optical Implementation Agreement (IA) that will allow a single product to be used for any, or all, of the three applications, minimising cost and maximising utility.

2. Data Transport Protocol:
The Common Electrical I/O (CEI) project defines electrical specifications for 4.976 to 6+ Gigabit and 9.95 to 11+ Gigabit signalling. The CEI work will focus on both short-reach (0 to 200mm with up to one connector) and long-reach (0 to 1m with up to two connectors) applications. With the CEI project underway, the OIF is moving forward with a new project that will define the Data Transport Protocol used by various applications (SFI, SPI, TFI), which will allow the applications the benefit of migrating to higher-speed electrical I/Os and improving capabilities, reducing cost and reducing pin-count of these interfaces.

3. Tunable Laser Project:
The OIF has agreed that the PLL WG will move forward on its tunable laser efforts and develop an IA for both transmitter and continuous wavelength (CW) tunable laser modules. In 2002 the OIF membership approved the industry's first tunable laser specification that covered a broad range of applications and included the path for form-factor reduction. Based on member feedback, the new specification will focus on a single form factor, supporting multiple applications based on switching speed and optical performance. This specification will enable and encourage industry deployment of tunable lasers.

4. UNI 1.0 Release 2:
UNI 1.0 Release 2 will reflect the latest revisions of signalling protocols while preserving the functionality of the current specification. Since the approval of UNI 1.0 in 2001, other signalling standards have evolved and stabilised, and this update ensures that UNI 1.0 stays aligned with the current state of the industry.

* In other OIF quarterly meeting news, the Forum's membership elected three new working group chairmen. Hans-Martin Foisel, head of research group at T-Systems/Deutsche Telekom was elected chairman of the Carrier working group. Amy Wang, product line manager at Avici, and Brian Von Herzen, consultant at Xilinx, were elected co-chairpersons of the Interoperability working group. In addition, the OIF membership re-elected Jim Jones, network architect at Alcatel, as chairman of the Architecture working group and Doug Zuckerman, consultant at Telcordia, as chairman of the Operations Administration, Maintenance, & Provisioning (OAM&P) working group.


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