Xtera partnership to develop submarine cable technology

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Xtera Communications, a provider of optical networking solutions, has announced that it will award a research contract to Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI), a leading research centre for telecommunications in Berlin, Germany.

Xtera and HHI are planning to further explore how telecommunications systems – and in particular long-haul submarine cable systems – can carry more capacity to meet the ever growing demand for bandwidth at minimal cost per transmitted bit. The work will be based on Xtera’s latest innovative submerged repeater, which utilises Raman optical amplification technology to offer an extended spectrum to transmit data and longer spacing between repeaters.

Xtera and HHI have developed a long-standing relationship over the last 10 years that has led to multiple advances for the subsea cable system industry. One example of this is the 2007 development of 20G QPSK modulation format for increasing channel rate beyond 10G, which was the standard for subsea cable systems.

‘With this foundation, there are numerous opportunities to materialise on other, recently developed transmission and coding technologies,’ said Ronald Freund, Head of Photonic Systems Development at HHI. ‘These technologies have been mastered by HHI for many years for different applications and the project aims at supporting Xtera in developing advanced system designs for future submarine networks at channel data rates of 400 Gigabit or 1 Terabit per second, and beyond. The research activity will combine numerical and experimental works, which will include lab and field work to optimise and validate transponder designs, modulation formats, fibres, or coding schemes.’

Stuart Barnes, Senior Vice President of Xtera and General Manager of Xtera Submarine Business said: ‘The successful relationship with HHI is a perfect complement to our in-house research teams and facilities in the US and UK. It fits extremely well with our company’s lean and efficient business model and allows us to maintain a leading edge as an innovator in this industry.’

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