The OIF and the Ethernet Alliance hosted interop and technology demonstrations on the show floor this week at OFC 2019 in San Diego. The activities at the two booths overlapped with a fiber connection across the show floor, via which a 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE) transmission generated via Flex Ethernet based on OIF’s FlexE 2.0 Implementation Agreement became part of the Ethernet Alliance’s 400GbE interop.
The FlexE transmission demonstrated both the sub-rating and bonding capabilities inherent in the transmission approach (see “FlexE Rollout to Begin in 2019 across Cloud and Telecom Service Providers Networks”). Dave Ofelt of Juniper Networks, OIF Physical and Link Layer (PLL) Working Group – Protocol vice chair, noted work on FlexE 2.0 finished in the second half of last year and brought nX200G and nX400G support to FlexE. The demonstration shows the FlexE 2.0 is ready for network implementation, which likely will become more ubiquitous once switch chip vendors begin incorporating the capabilities into their devices. OIF is now working on FlexE 2.1, which will add support for 50GbE for applications such as 5G mobile deployment. Ofelt also suggested that FlexE might be a straightforward way for optical networking technology vendors to create an 800-Gbps MAC.
On the other side of the connection, Ethernet Alliance Chairman John D’Ambrosia noted that the 21 companies participating in its 400GbE were a near record for a trade show interop. The participants included companies in the transceiver, silicon, switch and router, and test communities, demonstrating a full ecosystem for 400GbE and its readiness for deployment.
“We’re pleased to be able to make our 400GbE network available to the OIF for this demonstration at OFC,” D’Ambrosia said via a joint press release the two organizations issued. “We applaud the OIF for its work in leveraging 100GbE and 400GbE in its FlexE 2.0 implementation agreement. Their efforts will increase the capabilities of these solutions to help address the market needs of the Next Ethernet Era.“
“The Ethernet Alliance’s 400GbE network over the OFC exhibit floor is the perfect setting to illustrate the real-world features and capabilities of the OIF FlexE 2.0 IA that allows network operators to tailor their traffic while still leveraging Ethernet,” added Nathan Tracy, OIF’s president and technologist at TE Connectivity, via the same release. “The Ethernet Alliance’s deployment of the 400GbE network at OFC combined with OIF’s FlexE demonstration illustrates the coincident availability of these new technologies.”
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