Edgecore Networks offers Cassini whitebox packet transponder to Telecom Infra Project

Edgecore Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accton Technology Corp., announced at this week's Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Summit that it has contributed the hardware design for the Cassini whitebox packet transponder to TIP. The modular open-source whitebox packet transponder is designed to offer a mix of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) packet switching ports and 100/200 Gbps coherent optical interfaces for data center interconnect and service provider backhaul applications.

Edgecore Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accton Technology Corp., announced at this week's Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Summit that it has contributed the hardware design for the Cassini whitebox packet transponder to TIP. The modular open-source whitebox packet transponder is designed to offer a mix of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) packet switching ports and 100/200 Gbps coherent optical interfaces for data center interconnect and service provider backhaul applications.

The Cassini whitebox packet transponder offers a system throughput of 3.2 Tbps in a 1.5RU form factor. It is based on Broadcom's StrataXGS Tomahawk Plus switch silicon. The Cassini platform will support 16 fixed 100GbE QSFP28 ports, plus eight line-card slots to incorporate a mix of additional 100GbE ports or analog or direct coherent optics (ACO/DCO) optical ports based on merchant coherent DSPs and optical transceivers.

The company says it co-developed the Cassini design with NTT Electronics, Acacia Communications, and Finisar Corp. NTT Electronics helped develop a coherent line card for the whitebox packet transponder that leverages the company's ExaSPEED 200 coherent DSP. The roster of line cards the design will support includes:

  • 100GbE Line Card: 2x100GbE QSFP28 with MACsec
  • DCO Line Card: 1x100G/200G CFP2 with MACsec, supporting DCO pluggable transceivers including the Acacia AC200 CFP2-DCO Module
  • ACO Line Card: 1x100G/200G CFP2 with NTT Electronics' ExaSPEED 200 DSP, supporting ACO transceivers including the Finisar CPF2-ACO Coherent Optical Transceiver.

Edgecore will supply open source software for the platform to enable management via the ONOS SDN controller and associated applications. The packet transponder also will work with open source software from other vendors, including OcNOS from IP Infusion. OcNOS is a whitebox switching NOS optimized for service provider and data center interconnect use cases.

"The Open Optical Packet Transport project group in TIP pioneered the whitebox packet transponder concept with its introduction last year of the Voyager design which has gained significant interest in the community and from network operators," said George Tchaparian, CEO, Edgecore Networks. "We have long supported open whitebox hardware with our many switch, PON OLT, and WiFi design contributions to the Open Compute Project, and are now pleased to contribute the Cassini design to TIP as an open platform to provide more flexible whitebox choices to operators and encourage further collaboration between the packet switching and optical technology worlds."

"The TIP community welcomes Edgecore's contribution of the Cassini hardware design," said Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, co-chair of the TIP's Open Optical Packet Transport Project Group. "We are seeing growing interest throughout the industry in collaborating to build modular and disaggregated solutions. These whitebox approaches to the integration of packet switching and optical transport are important projects that show that the ecosystem is growing quickly."

Edgecore Networks will display the Cassini AS7716-24XC packet transponder at the TIP Summit in Santa Clara November 8-9. Prototypes of Cassini are available now for evaluation and software development, with general availability from Edgecore set for the fourth quarter of this year.

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