OIF launches OTN, thermal management 100G projects for 100G

June 3, 2010
JUNE 3, 2010 -- The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) says it will start two new 100G projects. The first will address the interoperable processing of Optical Transport Network (OTN) streams over a packet switch fabric. The second project will cover thermal management at the faceplate of an optical communication system, given the trend towards ever increasing port density coupled with the increased power consumption necessary to support higher data rates.

JUNE 3, 2010 -- The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) says it will start two new 100G projects. The first will address the interoperable processing of Optical Transport Network (OTN) streams over a packet switch fabric. The second project will cover thermal management at the faceplate of an optical communication system, given the trend towards ever increasing port density coupled with the increased power consumption necessary to support higher data rates.

The convergence towards OTN as the primary transport protocol and the predominance of packet traffic lead to a need to switch ODUk/ODUflex in a packet fabric environment. The “OTN over Packet Fabric Protocol” project aims to develop a common protocol for switching ODUk/ODUflex data and timing through a packet fabric to ensure interoperability among framer and fabric devices. By defining a packetized ODUk/ODUflex format, true convergence is enabled as both packet and constant bit rate (CBR) OTN signals can be switched by a common fabric within an optical transport platform (OTP), the OIF says.

“The industry is seeing a trend toward converged packet optical transport as transport network rates increase to 40G/100G,” said Dave Stauffer, of IBM and the OIF’s Physical & Link Layer Working Group chair. “This leads to a growing need for interoperability between devices processing OTN clients and a converged OTP. A converged OTP may also lead to a more cost-effective approach.”

Meanwhile, the OIF’s Physical Layer User Group will develop a whitepaper elaborating on the need for and approaches to improve thermal management at the faceplate that support the trend of increasing power densities. Continued use of existing thermal management techniques will lead to increased operating temperatures for optical devices, affecting their reliability as well as narrowing the range of compatible optical technologies that can be employed, according to the OIF. The “Thermal Management at the Face Plate” whitepaper will present ways to improve thermal management at the faceplate for use with some representative MSA pluggable optical modules.

“In the next two to four years, the industry is projecting that power densities may increase by 2-3 times,” said Steve Joiner of Finisar and OIF board member. “I’m encouraging our member companies to send their thermal experts to project meetings to expedite the development of this whitepaper.”

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