Telecom Infra Project offers Transponder Abstraction Interface to link optical modules with network operating systems

The Telecom Infra Project is using this week’s TIP Summit ’18 in London to debut the Transponder Abstraction Interface (TAI). The result of an initiative within Open Optical & Packet Transport (OOPT) group, the TAI helps connect a hardware platform’s network operating system to the optical components the platform contains, saving the developers of operating systems and disaggregated network systems the headache of creating custom software interfaces.

The Telecom Infra Project is using this week’s TIP Summit ’18 in London to debut the Transponder Abstraction Interface (TAI). The result of an initiative within Open Optical & Packet Transport (OOPT) group, the TAI helps connect a hardware platform’s network operating system to the optical components the platform contains, saving the developers of operating systems and disaggregated network systems the headache of creating custom software interfaces.

Using the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI), software interface construct for switch ASICs that Microsoft initiated a few years ago, OOPT group members NTT and Cumulus Networks led the creation of the TAI. Acacia Communications, Edgecore Networks, Fujitsu Ltd., Fujitsu Optical Components, IP Infusion, Microsoft, and Oclaro partnered in the effort as well.

“Defining hardware abstraction interfaces, such as TAI, will bring more software players into the telecom industry and accelerate the creation of new values. We are really excited about accelerating this innovation with TIP,” said Masahisa Kawashima, head of the NTT Software Innovation Center.

The collaborators have defined the TAI interface and developed the first open-source implementations. The TAI is being shown in action at the TIP Summit, where Edgecore’s Cassini open packet transponder is using the TAI to support integration of coherent optical interfaces based on merchant DSPs from NTT Electronics. The demonstration uses both CFP-2 ACO and DCO pluggable optical modules from Acacia, Fujitsu Optical Components, and Oclaro.

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