EU-funded HECTO project tackles serial 100-Gigabit Ethernet transmission

April 16, 2010
APRIL 16, 2010 -- Nokia Siemens Networks reports that a field trial that was part of the High-Speed Electro-optical Components for Integrated Transmitter and Receiver in Optical Communications (HECTO) project have demonstrated that 100-Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) networks can be deployed that are less complex than those using alternative approaches.

APRIL 16, 2010 -- Nokia Siemens Networks reports that a field trial that was part of the High-Speed Electro-optical Components for Integrated Transmitter and Receiver in Optical Communications (HECTO) project have demonstrated that 100-Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) networks can be deployed that are less complex than those using alternative approaches.

In the HECTO project, funded by a European Union grant, Nokia Siemens Networks partnered with the Photonics and Microwave Engineering Department of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Acreo AB, and Syntune AB (Sweden); Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF and u2t Photonics AG (Germany); DTU Fotonik (Denmark); and the University of Peloponnese (Greece).

The focus of the HECTO project was the development of transmitters and receivers for high-performance, high-speed, cost-efficient communication systems. This included the development of fully packaged transmitters and receivers suitable for optical systems based on serial 100GbE signals requiring about 110 Gbps. In particular, the integrated components to be developed included a prototype of a modulator for about 110 Gbps with low driving voltage (a traveling-wave electro-absorption modulator on InP), an appropriate electrical driver amplifier and an electrical multiplexer for the transmitter, a monolithically integrated photoreceiver (i.e., a photodetector and an amplifier), and a complete monolithically integrated clock-and-data recovery with demultiplexer for the receiver. The project started in November 2006 and concluded at the end of February 2010.

The systems vendor says the key benefit of the HECTO project is that the serial approach reduces the number of transceivers necessary for 100G network links of less than 40 km by 75%. This alone can reduce the complexity of 100GbE transmission and provide a cost-effective way to upgrade optical networks, Nokia Siemens Networks asserts.

Says Rainer H. Derksen, senior research scientist at Nokia Siemens Networks, “The HECTO approach is ideal for short-haul transmission because it does not require the complex transceivers needed for longer-distance network links. At the same time, it meets the increased capacity demands in the metro and access portions of the network. This landmark project fits well with our vision of using innovation to help operators upgrade to 100GbE without major network investments.”

Nokia Siemens Networks says it led the HECTO project’s activities surrounding the assessment of component specifications and technology. In addition, the company served as the interface between the consortium and standardization bodies.

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