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The latest optical transport equipment for 2023

Optical transport networks (OTN) are designed to transport high-capacity data, voice, and video signals over long distances. The technology is used to transport and switch optical signals in communication networks. It provides a transport layer that can support a variety of communication protocols and data types, including Ethernet, SONET/SDH, and Fibre Channel. It also offers a number of key features, such as optical signal monitoring, protection switching, and management, to ensure the reliable and efficient transport of optical signals.

An OTN consists of a combination of optical transmission equipment, optical switches, optical cross-connects, and other optical network elements that are used to route optical signals from one location to another.

Data is first converted into electrical signals, which are modulated into optical signals using the optical transceiver. These signals are transmitted over fibres. If the signals need to be amplified to maintain their strength and quality over long distances, amplifiers, such as erbium-doped fibre amplifiers (EDFAs) can be introduced. At the receiving end, a photodetector is used to convert the optical signals back into electrical signals, which can then be demodulated back into the original data. The decoded data is then switched and routed to its destination using optical cross-connects and optical switches.

Other OTN equipment includes optical add/drop multiplexers (OADM) to add or drop optical signals at specific points in the network without affecting the other signals; and wavelength division multiplexers (WDM) to combine multiple optical signals into a single fibre, or to separate a single optical signal into multiple wavelengths.

The latest research from industry intelligence firm, Dell’Oro Group predicts that demand for optical transport equipment will likely increase at a 3% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for the next five years, reaching $17bn by 2027. The market is expected to increase in 2023 due to improving component supply.

Optical transport products and equipment on the market now

Vendors of optical transport equipment include Adva Optical Networking, which offers a wide range of optical transport products for optical communication networks, including optical line systems, cross-connects, optical add/drop multiplexers, optical wavelength division multiplexers, optical transport nodes and more.

Ciena’s 6500 family of packet-optical platforms leverage up-to-date technology across L0 to L3 to enable a programmable infrastructure that is designed to scale and respond on demand to changing customer requirements. It allows operators to deploy OTN blade-based transponders and muxponders as well as agnostic packet/OTN fabric-based hardware, scaling to 24Tb/s per shelf.

Cisco Systems’ DWDM solution is the Cisco Network Convergence System 2000. It uses hybrid Raman-EDFA amplifiers for ease of deployment, and supports an ultra-low noise figure for long-distance, high bit-rate transmission.

Ericsson coloured optics are a portfolio of pluggable transceivers, based on WDM technology. The latest edition is the Fronthaul 6650, which integrates the functionality of transponders, muxponders, controllers and filters. It enhances the company’s existing portfolio by increasing the port density and flexibility while maintaining extreme low latency (<1.2µs).

Fujitsu’s range of traditional packet optical and OTN products is designed to help maintain and extend the life of legacy networks. Under the Flashwave umbrella, the range features the compact density system (CDS), which combines high capacity Ethernet transport and aggregation with support for existing SONET/SDH services at the network edge. Its switching and multiplexing capabilities provide a transparent transport interface between critical services and the OTN network. The Flashwave 4100 ES Micro Packet Optical Networking platform is ideal for Ethernet and TDM access service delivery and aggregation over networks up to 10Gb/s. Flashwave 7420 is a metro/enterprise WDM platform, while the Flashwave 9500 Packet ONP was built for multiprotocol networks

Amongst its OTN offerings, the Huawei OptiX OSN 9800 series of OTN platforms supports single-wavelength 800Gb/s and Super C+L band ultra-wide spectrum, and provides 96 Tb/s line capacity per-fibre. It can process various switching granularities ranging from 2 to 100Gb/s. This series uses a flexible optical-electrical convergence architecture, supports simplified optical-layer solutions, and provides optical-layer protection capabilities. This series was ranked highly by GlobalData in its latest competitive landscape assessment.

Huber + Suhner’s ConRep dynamic, multi-reach transport system is a next-generation optical transport platform that provides DWDM and CWDM in a single product for metro, regional, and long-haul applications. At its heart is the T-Chip (transport-on-a-chip) technology that enables fast, flexible, and cost-effective service delivery. The ConRep platform handles rates from 100M/s to 100G today and with potential to scale to 400G and beyond.

Infinera provides a number of products for optical transport networks, including the XTM application-optimised metro access and aggregation packet optical platform and the 7100 packet optical transport series, which provides compact, flexible, future-proof networks. The mTera packet optical transport platform supports feature-rich multi-service network aggregation and universal switching, while the XTC Terabit-class transport and switching platforms are designed for metro, long-haul, and submarine distances, and powered by Infinera’s fourth-generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4). The 7090 packet transport platforms are designed for MPLS-TP and carrier Ethernet.

Nokia offers a range of scalable optical platforms that provide flexibility and performance to optimise core networks, whether across a metro or across continents. Solutions are available for coherent routing, integrated packet transport (IPT), open optical networking and secure optical transport.

PacketLight develops and manufactures DWDM/OTN equipment for the transport of data, storage, voice and video services over DCI, metro and long haul networks. The products deliver the full optical layer transport solution including muxponders, transponders, ROADM, optical amplifiers and fibre diagnostic tools, for any network need, with optional Layer-1 encryption.

RocNet Supply is a provider of Green Market Hardware, Emerging Technologies, and Managed Services for the Cable Broadband and Network Infrastructure Industries. We provide industry leading solutions, with core competencies in Core Route Switch, Optical Transport, CCAP/RPHY, 10G PON, and Disaggregated Routing.

ZTE can provide an end-to-end transmission solution, including the 100G and beyond universal switching series product, ZXONE 9700 series.  It supports 10G/40G/100G/400G/1T transmission rate and can perform electrical layer switching and packet switching as well as 10G/40G/100G/400G/1T-wavelength optical layer switching. It’s mainly applied in backbone core layer and local/metro networks. The ZXMP M721 is designed for Metro Edge OTN and ZXONE 8000 is large-capacity cross-connected equipment, supporting 10G/100G/400Gb/s.

This is not an exhaustive list. If you provide optical transport solutions and would like your company to be included, please let us know:

Hamamatsu: Featured optical transport network equipment

Photo ICs are intelligent optical sensors with diverse functions that integrate a photodiode and signal processing IC in the same package. Hamamatsu designs all types of optical sensors based on the mounting environment and application needs. These compact and lightweight devices function as photo ICs for optical links and can be adapted and customized based on the requirements of our customers. They are used as data links in POF Communications for short-distance highspeed digital applications. The transmitter/ receiver photo ICs for POF communications support a wide variety of transmission speeds ideal for factory automation, electronics and home entertainment The lightweight transmitter photo IC combines a red LED, with a peak emission wavelength of 650 nm and a drive IC. The receiver photo IC is compatible with CMOS and is resistant to electromagnetic induction noise due to the monolithic integration of photo diode and signal processing circuit. From design to manufacturing, Hamamatsu delivers standard and customised solutions with high-volume manufacturing capabilities, find out more by visiting the company's website.

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