2 February 2004 Oxfordshire, U.K., Lightwave--Optical component supplier Bookham Technology today announced that it is shipping a new version of its 10-Gbit/sec IGF series of XFP transceiver modules. This new version is capable of carrying traffic over 40 km of standard singlemode optical fiber at a wavelength of 1550 nm, while previous versions were designed for 10 km at 1310 nm.
The XFP is an ultra-small transceiver module that was standardized by the XFP Multi-source Agreement (MSA) Group to help lower the costs of 10-Gbit/sec optical networking applications. Because XFP modules are hot-pluggable while an optical networking system is in service, they dramatically simplify upgrade and maintenance activities and therefore lower operating costs for carriers. The commercial availability of XFP modules capable of transmission over 40-km fiber spans brings to optical fiber trunks the network cost savings currently provided by XFP modules to short reach interconnects.
Bookham acquired Ignis Optics, a pioneer in the development of XFP modules in October 2003. Ignis Optics had been shipping a 10-km version of the XFP module since 2002. Those modules, which operate at a wavelength of 1310 nm and are compliant with SONET/SDH, Ethernet, and Fibre Channel standards, now carry live traffic in incumbent local-exchange carrier (ILEC) networks and have seen broad market acceptance in North America, Europe, and Asia.
At last year's Optical Fiber Communication Conference & Exposition (OFC) held in March, Ignis Optics demonstrated 40-km transmission at 1310 nm in an XFP module. Ignis also demonstrated 60-km XFP transmission using electronic dispersion compensation (EDC). At Supercomm held in June 2003, Ignis demonstrated 120-km transmission at 1550 nm with EDC and 80-km transmission at 1550 nm without EDC. No other XFP vendor has publicly demonstrated transmission over such long distances.
Today, Bookham announced that it has been making revenue-generating shipments of 40-km, 1550-nm XFP modules since December 2003. "Our customers had seen proof that the XFP form factor is a cost-effective and compact solution for short reach voice and data interconnections," said Steve Joiner, Bookham's director of marketing for XFP transceivers. "Now, with the commercial availability of longer reaches, we have made the XFP form factor apply to metropolitan distances as well. Following this 40-km link length, we intend to push to still further reaches and to include DWDM."
Bookham Chief Executive Giorgio Anania added, "The successful combination of the Ignis Optics and Bookham engineering teams has greatly accelerated both companies' transceiver development efforts. These longer-reach XFP modules show that we have the right skill set to combine the high quality of telecom modules with the low cost of datacom modules, enabling us to provide the key building blocks for the emerging converged network."
Bookham's 40-km XFP modules are designed to comply with the following industry standards: SONET IR-2; SDH S-64.2; Ethernet 10GbaseER.