XKL launches DarkStar DMD-A optical utility appliance

Optical transport equipment developer XKL has introduced the DarkStar Mux/Demux – Amplifier (DMD-A) optical utility appliance, which allows businesses to add capacity to their optical networks with ease.

The mux/demux combines wavelengths from a DarkStar DWDM optical transport platform onto the same fibre. A variety of filter options are provided including 48-channel or 96-channel mux/demux and 4-band or 6-band combiner filter, which can be configured for point-to-point or east/west nodes.

The DMD-A can serve as an integral part of an XKL network or can interoperate with any optical networking equipment that uses the standard ITU grid, with 50GHz or 100GHz channel spacing. The compact appliance comes in a one rack unit (1RU) or 2RU form factors and has reduced power consumption.

XKL’s DMD-A optical appliance supports up to four erbium-doped fibre amplifiers (EDFAs) and one Raman amplifier, depending on other installed options. The appliance also includes dispersion compensation and an integrated optical switch for path protection.

Like all XKL products, the DMD-A has a simple interface for deployment and management that enables a “set and forget” administration of the appliance. It is designed for IT professionals with a familiar feel that will allow them to integrate and operate it simply, thus reducing the need to employ expensive optical engineers.

“What truly makes the DMD-A stand out is its bulletproof design and operational efficiency,” said Dr. Chad Lamb, chief systems architect for XKL. “With more than seven years in continuous service, XKL considers downtime of critical infrastructure unacceptable and designs products accordingly. The DMD-A is a simple-to-operate platform that provides all the capabilities needed by today’s more complex optical networks. As our customers tell us, ‘it just works’.”


As data demand ramps ever higher, researchers are looking to innovative amplifier designs to help transport a broader light spectrum through optical fibres, finds Andy Extance


Duncan Ellis shares his views about the increased focus on automation from network operators, and how the physical layer has so far stubbornly resisted the move


Switching off copper networks where fibre has been deployed is the end game, so why are so few operators doing it, wonders Pauline Rigby


With demand for fibre to the premises increasing, Keely Portway looks at the role training plays in ensuring installation skills remain available to meet this growing demand

Analysis and opinion