OIF starts four projects at most recent meeting, including linear/direct drive optics

June 8, 2023
The meeting saw the start of projects that will address the management of smart optical modules, energy-efficient interfaces, the extension of FlexE to 800G and 1.6T, and the application of digital twins to optical networking.

OIF membership used the recent Q2 2023 Technical and MA&E Committees meeting to launch four new projects. The meeting, held in Budapest, Hungary, May 9-11, saw the start of projects that will address the management of smart optical modules, energy-efficient interfaces, the extension of FlexE to 800G and 1.6T, and the application of digital twins to optical networking.

The Management of Smart Optical Modules Project will see the creation of a whitepaper that will describe what OIF calls “a new paradigm” that decouples the controller from host software development, which the group believes will enable faster realization of advanced module capabilities. The OIF notes that current system management schemes require tight coupling between hosts and pluggable optical modules. However, new module capabilities advancements require that updating of the host software, which can delay the delivery of such advancements to the field. Meanwhile, equipment developers are finding it difficult to implement and track all the advanced features implemented by the various module vendors. And end-users seek disaggregation of IPoDWDM options. The paradigm described in the whitepaper will seek to address these issues.

The Energy Efficient Interfaces Framework Project is an umbrella framework project for the study of energy-efficient electrical and optical interfaces, particularly linear and direct-drive optics, meant to support the energy-efficient application requirements prioritized by OIF’s Physical Layer User Group Working Group.

As its name implies, the 800G/1.6T FlexE Project will extend FlexE to accommodate these higher transmission rates. The OIF will seek to define interoperable FlexE specifications for 800G/1.6T PHY rates for mobile backhaul and data center interconnect applications. The work will see support for 800G and 1.6T added to the OIF-FLEXE-02.2 Implementation Agreement.

A digital twin is a virtual model designed to accurately reflect a physical object – potentially including optical networks. The Digital Twin Optical Network as an Enhanced Network Operation Project will see the creation of another whitepaper; this one will describe the challenges and technical requirements for digital twin modeling as an enhanced optical network operation. It will specify the relationship between the Digital Twin Network (DTN) and network management and control, interface operation, input/output data requirements and data collection. The OIF believes its work in this area will broaden the use of digital twins in optical networks.

“This quarter’s OIF meeting was a clear testament to the organization’s unwavering dedication to progress,” commented OIF President Cathy Liu of Broadcom Inc. “The overall energy and remarkable productivity within each technology track reflected a collective determination to spearhead innovative projects that foster interoperability.”

In between all this project launching, OIF membership voted on several officer nominations. Jia He, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., was re-elected as chair of the Networking & Operations Working Group and Tom Huber, Nokia, was appointed as Physical & Link Layer Working Group Protocol vice chair. Prior to the meeting, the organization’s board of directors appointed Robert Stone, Meta Platforms, to fill an open board seat through September 2023.

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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