As internet traffic grows year on year, service providers have to deliver more capacity at cheaper rates. Simply putting more fibre into the ground is a very expensive solution to the problem in most cases, so network providers are under pressure to come up with innovative solutions that will increase the capacity of fibre that has already been deployed within the network infrastructure.
Fibre Systems Autumn 2014
Existing 100 Gig interfaces have reaches that are either too long and costly or too short - and web companies' demands have stirred a flurry of industry activity, with four optical module initiatives announced since the year's start. Cheaper 100 Gig mid-reach interfaces also promise to benefit telecoms, with wireless being one application already identified.
Optical module designers must reconcile two contradictory trends: data centres are getting larger, inevitably lengthening the links between systems, yet optical reach gets shorter with increasing channel speed.
As data rates increase across fibre networks, optical loss budgets are being driven down - attenuation through the system must be lower than ever because there is less tolerance for overall loss of light.
Last year marked a major milestone for JDSU as the company celebrated 90 years of history. Back in 1923, Herr Wandel & Herr Goltermann founded a company in Germany specialising in developing and manufacturing test sets for communications. Over time, a series of acquisitions (Wandel & Goltermann, Wavetek Wandel Goltermann, Acterna, and others), became the foundation for what JDSU calls its network and service enablement business segment.
How can researchers experiment with a future internet and its technologies without breaking the internet we already have?
Dark fibre is the key, and UK researchers now have access to a whole lot more of it, thanks to the arrival of Aurora2, the National Dark Fibre Infrastructure Service (NDFIS).
CableLabs is spearheading efforts to develop a proposal that uses coherent optics to dramatically boost the capacity of hybrid fibre coaxial networks, reports Andy Extance
Systems vendors are using intelligent software to squeeze more performance from optical networks. Pauline Rigby reports on developments at OFC 2017