EXFO launches single-ended CD/PMD analyzer

DECEMBER 10, 2007 -- EXFO says its latest technological breakthrough, which combines chromatic dispersion (CD) and polarization mode dispersion (PMD) test capabilities inside a single module, can characterize optical links up to 120 kilometers from a single fiber end.

DECEMBER 10, 2007 -- EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. (search for EXFO) today announced the launch of the FTB-5700 Single-Ended Dispersion Analyzer for metro networks.

EXFO says its latest technological breakthrough, which combines chromatic dispersion (search for CD) and polarization mode dispersion (search for PMD) test capabilities inside a single module, can characterize optical links up to 120 kilometers from a single fiber end. Based on a patented approach, CD can now be characterized with high accuracy from a single fiber end, say company representatives, who note that for the first time ever, PMD testing from a single end is also possible.

Network service providers (NSPs) are increasingly grappling with the negative effects of physical phenomena such as CD and PMD when upgrading their optical networks to 10 Gbits/sec, and it will become significantly worst when they move onto 40-Gbit/sec SONET or 100-Gigabit Ethernet (100-GbE) deployments over time, EXFO explains. Advanced CD and PMD tests must be performed to ensure the fiber can handle high transmission rates without compromising quality of service. These test requirements are especially becoming necessary in metro loops as higher rates are being turned up to meet heightened bandwidth demand. Against this backdrop, NSPs are seeking to reduce their operating expenses as much as possible, resulting in fewer new fiber deployments.

EXFO says the FTB-5700 Single-Ended Dispersion Analyzer ideally completes its dispersion portfolio, which includes the FTB-5800 CD Analyzer and the FTB-5500B PMD Analyzer. According to the company, these two instruments offer the highest accuracy and dynamic range on the market, while the FTB-5700 is mainly designed for single spans involving 10-Gbit/sec turn-ups.

Based on the FTB-5700 Single-Ended Dispersion Analyzer's proprietary technology, only one field technician and test instrument are necessary to characterize a short or mid-range link (less than 120 km) with sufficient accuracy for access and most metro deployments.

As a result, NSPs will derive significant savings in terms of capital (CAPEX) and operating (OPEX) expenses, claim EXFO representatives. NSPs will also be able to leverage their installed base of FTB-200 and FTB-400 portable platforms, which are both compatible with the new test module. Moreover, says the company, NSPs will benefit from its one-touch button testing, which simplifies and accelerates characterization, pass/fail results display for ease of interpretation, and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) to minimize training requirements.

"EXFO has historically been a leader in dispersion measurement with our first PMD Analyzer launched in 1996, just in time to support the beginning of 10-Gbit/sec deployments," recalls Etienne Gagnon, EXFO's vice president of product management and marketing. "Once again, we are proud to bring to market our latest innovation, theIFTB-5700 Single-Ended Dispersion Analyzer, which accelerates and simplifies dispersion characterization of optical fiber for high-speed metro networks," he contends. "Since dispersion characterization represents a major deployment pain for NSPs, our Dispersion Analyzer, combined with theIFTB-200 or FTB-400 platform, provides them with peace of mind for quick network upgrades to higher transmission rates."


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