Agilent Technologies announces 2.5 Gb/s transceivers and optical connectors, plus software package for conformance testing of the UNI signaling standard

March 12, 2001
Mar. 12, 2001--Agilent Technologies Inc., announced new 2.5 Gb/s small-form-factor (SFF) fiber-optic transceivers for SONET/SDH short reach (SR) and intermediate reach (IR) links.

Agilent Technologies Inc., announced new 2.5 Gb/s small-form-factor (SFF) fiber-optic transceivers for SONET/SDH short reach (SR) and intermediate reach (IR) links. The new transceivers, Agilent's first SFF devices at this speed, are important elements in relieving the networking bandwidth bottleneck currently experienced in metropolitan area networks (MANs).

The advent of Gigabit Ethernet products, including contributions by Agilent as a substantial provider of Gigabit Ethernet transceivers, has eased much of the bandwidth crunch inside local area network (LAN) enterprises. In the core of the wide area network (WAN), dense wave division multiplex (DWDM) solutions have provided significant bandwidth. The bottleneck is now centered in metro networks that ring cities and lead to the network core. Users have found it difficult to procure sufficient numbers of the OC-48 transceivers needed in this application. Agilent's new transceivers, designed to be produced in very high-volume, are intended to break open the MAN bottleneck.

Agilent's new OC-48 transceivers are offered with LC connectors, which are popular in Metro applications. They provide extremely low jitter generation of typically 50 Milli-unit intervals (mUI) peak-to-peak and 5 mUI root-mean square (RMS), improving network reliability by reducing errors and data loss. The low jitter also provides design engineers with margin to meet the Bellcore jitter specifications. The new products are fully Bellcore-qualified, and also support the OC-12 standard for compatibility with currently installed equipment. For more information, visit www.agilent.com/view/sff.

Agilent's new OC-48 transceivers are the first in a family of products addressing the MAN. Over the coming months, Agilent plans to introduce short- and intermediate-range SFF products for both the OC-12 (622 Mb/s) and OC-3 (155 Mb/s) standards.

Agilent also announced its entry in the optical connectors manufacturers market with the introduction of four new return-loss modules with integrated FP laser source. The introduction of these products allows Agilent to participate in the passive component test market - where the connector segment is forecast to see a 140 percent growth by the year 2004 according to Ryan Hankin Kent Inc., Telecommunication Industry Analysis - and to broaden its product offering to existing and potential customers.

The internal sources featured in these modules will enable users to extensively improve the specification for return-loss measurements. Users will see a number of benefits, including:

* one of the smallest footprints in the industry when the modules are mounted in the Agilent 8163A mainframe;

* economy of valuable bench space for connectors manufacturers using Agilent's leading power meter, which will fit into the same mainframe as the return-loss modules;

* extremely fast measurement set-up due to the modules' ability to carry all calibration parameters to compensate for internal parasitic effects, thus providing a "plug-and-play" feature that enables users to skip the manual calibration process for most measurements;

* independence of the return-loss measurements from power fluctuations, due to the modules' unique internal monitor diode, which continuously checks the power of external and internal light sources; and

* the ability to extend the interval between manual recalibrations, a result of the stability provided by the internal monitor diode.

The Agilent 81611A, 81612A, 81613A and 81614A return-loss modules all boast the same features as the 81610A for the general passive component test market and are therefore ideal to test fast telecommunication systems such as filters, multiplexers, cross-connects, amplifiers and entire systems in both research and development and production environments. In addition, these new modules feature a connector that enables users to attach an external light source such as fixed, tunable or DFB laser sources. The new modules will feature the following specifications:

* 81611A - one internal source 1310 nm;

* 81612A - one internal source 1550 nm;

* 81613A - two internal sources 1310/1550 nm; and

* 81614A - two internal sources 1550/1625 nm.

For information about prices, quantity breaks and options, visit www.agilent.com/comms/lightwave. The new return-loss modules with integrated FP laser source are expected to start shipping in April 2001.

Another milestone for the company, Agilent also announced what the company claims to be the industry's first software package for conformance testing of the emerging optical User to Network Interface (UNI) signaling standard. This standard is central to enabling "on demand" provisioning of bandwidth across optical networks, a key requirement for widespread purchase and deployment of optical switching equipment.

The conformance suite provides a wide variety of automated tests, enabling developers to quickly determine if their product meets standards and if it will interoperate with UNI-conformant optical network devices developed by other manufacturers.

The initial Agilent optical UNI-test product focuses on testing conformance with the optical Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) signaling protocol standards being developed by the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), an open industry organization of more than 325 equipment manufacturers, telecom service providers and end users. Agilent has been a principal member of the OIF since 1998.

The suite supports in-band and out-of-band testing and provides more than 200 scripted test cases for examining each of the actions specified in the standards, including the set-up and tear down of optical paths between network clients and the network, connection status messages and discovery of network resources. Users receive simple "pass/fail" responses for each test case, and can view summary or detailed decodes of each signaling message sent and received in real time. Debugging features sequentially track and record all errors identified by the analysis software.

Users can also customize the test cases to evaluate their own proprietary protocol extensions and store customized test objects and scripts for later re-use. The conformance test suites run on both the Agilent QA Robot platform, which supports 10/100 Ethernet interfaces, and Agilent's recently announced Optical Routing Test System, which supports testing related optical protocols including Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS), also known as Multiprotocol Lambda Switching.

Agilent claims that their Optical Routing Test Solution family is the first to focus on testing the "optical control plane" - the software protocols and hardware that guide optical functions and communications between multiple switches and routers. The optical control plane plays a key role in fulfilling requests for bandwidth on demand, sharing network topology information and enabling communication between multivendor optical equipment. Additional product information is available at www.agilent.com/comms/opticaltest.

The Agilent E5171A Optical UNI Conformance Test Suite is expected to be available to customers later this month. Additional information on the OIF is available at www.oiforum.com.

About Agilent Technologies:

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a diversified technology company that designs and manufactures test, measurement and monitoring instruments, systems and solutions, and semiconductor and optical components for the communications, electronics, life sciences and healthcare markets. For more information, visit www.agilent.com.

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